1854-D THREE DOLLARS
PCGS No: 7970
Circulation strikes: 1,120
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%
grains (5.02 grams)
(for Dahlonega) below the wreath on the reverse
Images courtesy of CoinFacts.com, Inc.
No varieties are known or expected, as all 1854-D Three Dollars were
struck from the same pair of dies.
The mintage for this date was a
mere 1,120 pieces, making it one of the most desirable dates in the
series. It is the only Three
Dollar Gold piece minted at the branch mint facility in Dahlonega,
Georgia, adding an extra dimension of desirability.
Nevertheless, because there were no coin collectors working on
date/mintmark combinations in 1854, all of the coins were released into
circulation. Thus, only a
handful of truly Uncirculated examples exist, all of which must have been
pulled from circulation shortly after their release.
Of those, the best is listed at the MS-62 level (a tie between the
fully struck Bass coin and the PCGS MS-62 in the “Great Lakes”
collection). Most 1854-D $3
gold pieces are poorly struck, with weak
details and poorly defined denticles.
We like Doug Winter’s
advice concerning this date: “If I had the financial resources (and
patience) I would attempt to warehouse a number of nice quality 1854-D
Three Dollar gold pieces and wait for the market to come to me.”
PCGS has graded only three
of this date -- one in MS-60, one in MS-61, and another in MS-62 (we've illustrated
PCGS MS-62 (illustrated
above). Ex - RARCOA "AUCTION '81":386, $72,500.00 - MARCA
Elliott", 01/1987:1814 - Superior 01/ 1996:2277 - Hanks and Associates, Inc. -
Great Lakes collection
of Three-Dollar gold pieces. This is the finest example
graded by either PCGS or NGC.
PCGS MS-60 (illustrated
below). Goldberg "The California Sale", 10/ 2000:814, sold
for $46,000.00, where
it was described (in part) as follows: "This date is virtually
impossible to locate in full mint state. PCGS has only graded 2 coins as
such, this piece and one other in Mint State 62. NGC has similar numbers,
with 2 coins graded as Mint State 60, and one graded Mint State 61. It is
probable that some of these reported grades may be crossovers or other
attempts at a higher grade representing only a couple of coins.
Regardless, this is clearly one of the Finest Known specimens of the date,
certainly in the top six known. Furthermore, this is the Breen plate
coin, used in his wonderful Encyclopedia, with a small identifying
mark in the right obverse field. The obverse dentils are weak along the
upper portions, diagnostic to this date, and the leaf left of the date is
also weak, from die lapping, further confirming that this piece is indeed
genuine and not some sort of added mintmark or other alteration.
Collectors can bid secure in the knowledge that this coin is original, and
have the further assurance of the PCGS blessing of a Mint State 60 grade.
The D mintmark is quite large, apparently it was used to produce half
eagles. The reverse die shows 2 or more clash marks, with Liberty's head
outlined within the reverse wreath. On the obverse, minor clash marks are
noted extending up near to Liberty's neck, probably from the wreath on the
reverse. The fields possess frosty luster and the devices are well struck
on the obverse and reverse. We note that the upper curl on Liberty's head
is a bit weak, as well as the high curl over her ear. As to the
identifying mark in the right obverse field, it is a fairly heavy dig
midway in the field under ER of AMERICA. To the unaided eye, this is
minor, but does show clearly with a glass. On the reverse, there are no
problems aside from typical handling marks expected on a coin of this era.
This is the rarest regular issue $3 date, and the most valuable. Only the
proof only 1875 is more costly, aside from the unique 1870-S."
NGC MS-60 (illustrated
below). Ex - Superior
Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", June 5-7, 2000, Lot 2162,
"muted luster with characteristic weak rim denticles, although the
centers compensate for this by their sharpness; full denomination, date
digits and mintmark are an expression of the central detail", sold
"to the book"
NGC AU-58. Heritage
NGC AU-58. Ex
– American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,”
July 25, 2003:686, illustrated, sold for $35,650.00
NGC AU-55. Ex - Heritage
Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale",
August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7190, illustrated, not sold
"AU-55". Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins &
Collectibles, Inc. "The Pre-Long Beach Auction", January 25-28,
2004, Lot 3212, illustrated, sold for $12,362.50
Net VG-10, sharpness of VF-25, repaired and polished. Ex - Bowers
& Merena Galleries' "The Rarities Sale", January 3, 2001,
Lot 489, illustrated, sold for $2,070.00
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial
Coins" by Walter Breen
"The PCGS Population
Report, July 2003" by The
Professional Coin Grading Service