Proof 1881 Three-Cent Nickels are among the most plentiful of all U.S. Proof coins of the period. They are not always well-made and they are often confused with Prooflike circulation strikes, but there are still many, many nice examples from which collectors can choose. Literally hundreds of examples are known in PR64, PR65, and PR66. PR67 examples are far less common, but they can also be had at levels that can be considered good values. In PR68, the 1881 Three-Cent Nickel is an extreme condition-rarity and the few examples that survive in that grade are absolutely lovely.
Cameo Proof 1881 Three-Cent Nickels are approximately six times as rare as brilliant, non-Cameos. Deep Cameo Proofs are exceedingly rare, all of which are in high grade.