Ron Guth: No Three-Cent Nickels were made for circulation in 1877 and 1878, thus this was the first such coin since 1876. Demand must have been low, because the Mint struck only 38,000 examples for circulation, plus 3,200 Proofs for sale to collectors.
Despite the low mintage, collectors should have no trouble finding an 1879 Three-Cent Nickel in grades up to, and including, MS66. In MS67, fewer than 10 have been certified by PCGS, and none have been graded finer.
This date is generally known for being well struck, and it is seldom found with clashed dies. The low mintage makes it a very poipular date.