Coins Certified as of 1/22

My Coin #-39923

1875 $3 PR65

PCGS#: 8039

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Sold by B. Max Mehl Jun '41 price realized $1725

Expert Comments

Ron Guth: The Proof-only 1875 $3 is, indeed, one of the great gold rarities of the nineteenth century.  Clearly, the mintage figure of 20 Proofs is incorrect (or at best, low) because more than 20 examples are known to exist.  Brene claimed to know of 31 different examples.  We know of sixteen demonstrably different examples and we have yet to examine and exhaust the complete auction history.  Whether the additional examples were struck later in 1875 or in later years is unknown, though the presence of die rust on some of the examples suggests a later restriking.  In reality, the question is academic because these 1875 Proofs are hotly contested whenever they appear at auction.  They are the only way to own an 1875 $3.  Today's auction results are somewhat higher than the ones recorded by Akers -- three different examples have sold for over $200,000 each, and two have sold for $253,000 each.

Where non-Cameo, Cameo, and Deep Cameo examples were once lumped together by PCGS, they are now beginning to separate and it appears that most examples are Cameo at a minimum.

David Akers (1975/88): Next to the legendary 1870-S, the 1875 is the most famous and highly desired three dollar gold piece. It has auction records as high as $150,000 (PCGS CoinFacts editors note: Remember this was written in 1976), although, as the auction records conclusively show, it is not nearly as rare as the 1873 Open 3 and is, in fact, one of the more common dates in proof prior to the 1880's! Certainly, it has been offered for sale many more times than the 1874 or 1878 which have identical reported mintages of 20 pieces. This apparent discrepancy is answered by the fact that the claimed mintage of 20 for the 1875 is not really accurate since more than 20 pieces are known to exist. The term "restrike" has been used when discussing the 1875, but properly used, the term "restrike" denotes a coin that is struck in a year later than its date. Such has not been conclusively proven to be the case with the 1875 three dollar gold piece, and although there are differences between known specimens, it is more likely that they were merely struck at different times during the same year rather than in different years.

Diameter: 20.50 millimeters Designer: James Barton Longacre Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 20 Weight: 5.02 grams Metal Content: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 18 R-9.2 14 / 37 TIE 14 / 37 TIE
60 or Better 17 R-9.2 15 / 37 TIE 15 / 37 TIE
65 or Better 4 R-9.8 5 / 37 TIE 5 / 37 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR64 PCGS grade  
1 PR64 PCGS grade  
1 PR64 PCGS grade  
1 PR64 PCGS grade  
5 PR61 PCGS grade