1870-S $3 (Regular Strike)

Series: Indian Princess $3 1854-1889

EF40 estimated grade - ex Eliasberg<BR>Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.bowersandmerena.com" target="_blank">Bowers and Merena Auctions</a>

EF40 estimated grade - ex Eliasberg
Image courtesy of Bowers and Merena Auctions

PCGS #:
7992
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Edge:
Reeded
Diameter:
20.50 millimeters
Weight:
5.02 grams
Mintage:
1
Mint:
San Francisco
Metal:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 1 R-10.0 1 / 41 1 / 41
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 41 1 / 41
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 41 1 / 41
Survival Estimate
All Grades 1
60 or Better
65 or Better
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-10.0
60 or Better R-10.1
65 or Better R-10.1
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 1 / 41
60 or Better 1 / 41
65 or Better 1 / 41
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 1 / 41
60 or Better 1 / 41
65 or Better 1 / 41

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 EF40 estimated grade

J.R. Harmstead - H.T. Van Camp - William Woodin - Thomas Elder 3/1911, $1,450) - S. H. Chapman - Newcomer (inv cost $2,000) - Mehl - Col. E.H.R Green - Burdette G. Johnson - offered to Eliasberg ca. 1944 by Art Kagin at $8,500 - Ted and Carl Brandts (Celina Coin Company) ca. 1945 - to Morton Stack $11,000) - Stack's to Eliasberg 1/1946, $11,550.  U.S. Gold Coin Collection Sale - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:296 $687,500 - Norman Stack - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Harry Bass Foundation (currently on display to the American Numismatic Association)

#1 EF40 estimated grade

J.R. Harmstead - H.T. Van Camp - William Woodin - Thomas Elder 3/1911, $1,450) - S. H. Chapman - Newcomer (inv cost $2,000) - Mehl - Col. E.H.R Green - Burdette G. Johnson - offered to Eliasberg ca. 1944 by Art Kagin at $8,500 - Ted and Carl Brandts (Celina Coin Company) ca. 1945 - to Morton Stack $11,000) - Stack's to Eliasberg 1/1946, $11,550.  U.S. Gold Coin Collection Sale - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:296 $687,500 - Norman Stack - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Harry Bass Foundation (currently on display to the American Numismatic Association)

David Akers (1975/88): This coin is one of the most famous of all U.S. gold coins. The Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint indicated that only a single piece had been struck to be put into the cornerstone of the new mint building. However, a specimen appeared in the William H. Woodin Sale in 1911 and was claimed to be a duplicate of the coin in the cornerstone. It is probable that the two coins are one and the same and today it is widely accepted that the 1870-S three dollar gold piece is unique. The lone piece is in the collection of the late Louis Eliasberg of Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Eliasberg purchased the coin through Stack's and the Celina Coin Company for $11,500 in January of 1946, the same month in which he purchased the 1854-S half eagle for less than half that amount ($5500). This, of course, was an astonishing price for the period, although it was $2500 less than the amount that Mr. Eliasberg had paid Abe Kosoff for an 1822 half eagle in July of 1945. Prior to being in the possession of Ted and Carl Brandts who owned the Celina Coin Company, the 1870-S was in the Brand Collection.

The unique piece in the Eliasberg Collection is not in choice condition and, in fact, it has the "pebbled" appearance of a coin that has been used as jewelry. There is also minor damage at the obverse rim below the bust, indicating that the coin probably was worn on a key chain or watch fob. The numerals "893" have also been scratched upside down into the reverse field above the wreath. The S mintmark is totally unlike the mintmark on any U.S. coin, in particular the S Mint coins of 1870, lending credence to the story that the mintmark was cut into the die by hand after the die reached San Francisco.



David Hall:

The 1870-S three dollar gold piece is unique. The following is the pedigree;

1. Eliasberg- Bass specimen, EF-40 PCGS estimated grade

  • H.T. Van Camp (1907?). Advertised in the Numismatist.
  • William H. Woodin (?-1911)
  • Thomas Elder auction sale of the William Woodin collection (March, 1911). The reserve bid was $1,000 and the coin sold for $1,450.
  • Waldo C. Newcomer (1920?-1930's?)
  • B. Max Mehl (?). Mehl sold the massive Necomer collection piecemeal on a consignment basis.
  • Celina Coin Company (Ted and Carl Brandts). Advertised in the Numismatist in 1945 for $25,000.
  • Stack's (1946) as an agent for Louis Elisberg
  • Louis Eliasberg (1946-1982). Purchased thru Stack's from Celina Coin Company in January, 1946 for $11,500, a huge price at the time.
  • Bowers and Ruddy Galleries (Q. David Bowers & James F. Ruddy) auction sale of the Louis Eliasberg collection of U.S. gold coins (October, 1982). The coin brought $687,500, a record price for a U.S. gold coin (and a price tied the next day when the Eliasberg 1822 $5 also brought $687,500). The coin was purchased by Harry Bass
  • Harry Bass (& estate) (1982 to date). Purchased by Harry Bass at the October, 1982 Eliasberg auction for $687,500.