1863 $3 MS62 Certification #05835704, PCGS #7984
After more than two and a half decades of certification data, the 1863 $3 remains a relatively scarce date. There are many dates which are considerably more common (1854, 1874, and 1878), and not many that have lower populations. Dates that have similar certified populations include 1862, 1872, 1880, 1883, 1885, and 1886. Of this group, the dates in the 1880s all have substantially lowere mintages than the 1863, indicating that they were saved to a greater degree and, conversely, that the 1863 received less attention from collectors. This relationship is further confirmed by examining the quantities of Mint State survivors. For 1880, 1883, 1885, and 1886, Mint State examples represent a higher percentage of the total population than they do in 1862 and 1872, which means that collectors focused their attention more on the dates in the 1880s than they did in the 1860s and 1870s.
Clashed dies are common on this date, but early strikes can be found with no clashing.
Though Mint State examples of the 1863 $3 are scarce, they often come nice. Nearly a dozen examples have been certified MS65 or better by PCGS. The top examples rate MS68.
David Akers (1975/88)The 1863 is scarce in all grades and rare in full mint state. However, this date is not nearly as rare as Walter Breen's monograph indicates, and in fact the date rates no higher than 25th out of 44 according to number of appearances in our 238 catalogue auction survey. I have seen a fair number of choice uncirculated specimens, including at least five that were MS-65 or better. Most business strikes that I have seen have prominent clash marks on both the obverse and reverse.