||March 2020 Baltimore U.S. Coins Auction
||Vibrantly Toned Gem 1861 Silver Three-Cent Piece
1861 Silver Three-Cent Piece. MS-67 (PCGS). CAC.
This is a richly original trime that is beautifully toned in olive-gold, reddish-orange, salmon pink, powder blue and champagne-apricot. The frosty surfaces are fully lustrous and exceptionally well preserved with an appearance that is nearly pristine. Bold to sharp striking only adds to the appeal of this lovely Superb Gem.
In 1859 the third and final design modification of the tiny three-cent silver denomination was introduced when Chief Engraver James Longacre removed one of the border lines surrounding the large central star that had been added back in 1854. This seemed to improve the overall striking quality, though many of the earlier technical issues, such as clash marks and die striations, would occasionally rear their heads. In 1861, some 497,000 silver three-cent pieces were struck for circulation, the largest mintage of all Type III issues. By this time, the discontent between the North and the South had erupted into open hostility and civil war. Once the war intensified, coins of all types were driven from circulation in the East and Midwest and soon paper currency would dominate the economy. In the North, the introduction of a three-cent fractional note in 1863 and the three-cent nickel coin in 1865 effectively made the silver three-cent coin superfluous. After 1862, production figures dropped precipitously and finally in 1873, the denomination was discontinued after a final issue of Proof specimens.
Unlike some of the earlier issues, the 1861 trime is generally well struck with overall excellent lustrous surfaces and Gem examples may be secured with only a modicum of effort. A small cluster of grading events is seen at the MS-67 level of preservation, no doubt bolstered by resubmissions, which so far has resulted in only two finer examples at PCGS (MS-67+ and MS-68). The Pogue specimen stands is very close to perfection and will be a source of considerable pride for years to come.
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000.
PCGS Population: 35, 2 finer (MS-68 finest).
PCGS# 3679. NGC ID: 22ZA.
Click here for certification details from PCGS.