Three 3-Cent Pieces

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by The Eidolon, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Type I, 0.750 fine 3-Cent, 1853.jpeg Type II, 0.900 fine 3-Cent, 1857.jpeg Copper-Nickel 3-Cent, 1867.jpeg
    Top: Type I (75% silver) Middle: Type II (90% silver, lighter) Bottom: Cu-Ni

    I don't own a Type III yet, alas. I find the mid-1800s fascinating in US coinage because of the disruptions to the price of gold and silver due to the Gold Rush and then the Civil War. The 3-cent piece was introduced to match the denomination of the new 1851 prepaid postage stamp. It was also as a subsidiary coin with less silver content to replace the 90% silver coins which had been driven out of circulation by the relative rise in the price of silver caused by the Gold Rush.

    The Type II was needed to match the 7% debasement of the half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar of 1853 (the one which caused arrows to be added to the sides of the date). The fineness was raised to 90%, but the weight was dropped a bit, so that the 3-cent had move silver value than before and the other subsidiary coins had less, but at least they all matched. (The silver dollar was not debased in 1853, but those were not minted in large quantities in that era anyway.)

    The copper-nickel 3-cent was needed because of the Civil War, where unbacked "greenback" paper money drove precious metal coinage out of use. The bronze 2-cent piece and copper-nickel 5-cent piece (replacing the half dime) were introduced in that era for the same reason. The resumption of specie payments for greenbacks in the mid-1870s brought the dollar back up to par with gold and silver (while wrecking the economy in the Panic of 1873) and reduced the need for base-metal money. This contributed to the discontinuation of the 2 and 3-cent coins, though the nickel 5-cent piece is still with us.
    tibor, Larry E, Theodosius and 13 others like this.
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  3. igotchange

    igotchange Active Member

    Im so amazed at what incredible historians you people are from the angle of coin knowledge.excellent information.thank you
  4. igotchange

    igotchange Active Member

    Can you tell me whats usually the view regarding coins with holes drilled in them? I have several and im not pleased because the really are nice
  5. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Well, probably better to start a new topic to get a full range of opinions and have other people notice your question. For me personally, I know that holes greatly damage the value of a coin, and it's usually worth the money to get a clean specimen of a given type. For an unusual type or something old and scarce, a holed specimen might be an opportunity to buy something at an affordable price that you might not otherwise ever see again. Holed specimens were often made into jewelry, so they are usually in not too bad condition otherwise as they didn't circulate much after being mounted. Just don't think of this kind of coin as an investment.
  6. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Just a few words about the 1857. Nice coin. Most of what looks like wear is actually a strike issue. They were so thin that they did not strike up very well and you will see many with die clash marks. If you have strong hands, you can bend the coin with your fingers.
    Cheech9712, The Eidolon and Mainebill like this.
  7. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    I don't want to know how you know this !
    HoledandCreative likes this.
  8. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

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  9. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    Agreed and yes I know. Can help unbend them too
  10. JCB

    JCB Active Member


    Attached Files:

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  11. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    The nickel three cent coin has a special place for me. I've always been intrigued by it. Unfortunately, to scrape up funds to buy my retirement home I sold most of them. However, I still hope to build a complete set before I go to the harp farm.
  12. Junior lawson

    Junior lawson Active Member

  13. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    Easy enough to rectify - there are a fair # of 1859s and a lot of 1861s for sale. Pretty much any grade you want.

    Don't bother with the Medallic Alignment 1861s. Yes it's an error. It's also a very common error and you don't need to pay the premium. It's common enough that you have to think they setup the dies wrong for an entire day of striking... the 497,000 coins were struck only on 7 non-consecutive days.
    The Eidolon likes this.
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Mine with clash.

    1865_Nickel_3_cent_piece__die_clash_MS63-removebg-preview.png 1865_nickel_3_cent_reverse__die_clash-removebg-preview.png
    Larry E, yakpoo, Harpo and 3 others like this.
  15. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    There are three types of just the 3 cent silver pieces. (And then the 3 cent nickel would be the 4th type.)
    Type 1 No Star Outline 1851-1853
    Type 2 Three Star Outline 1854-1858
    Type 3 Two Star Outline 1859-1873
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
    tibor, Larry E, yakpoo and 4 others like this.
  16. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    The early 3CN dates were the kings of clashes. I had a nice 1866 where you could identify the date on the reverse. I once thought of building a nice set of clashed 3CNs.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  17. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

    I like 3CN type quite a bit. Sold my example as I was not happy with the look of it, been searching for one ever since that meets my criteria and my price. Looking back on it, my original coin was not actually bad looking.
  18. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I been working on that for a while. The last four years are tough!!
    wxcoin likes this.
  19. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    I know. I'll have to either sell the house or my body to afford an 1885 business strike. I noticed that Great Collections has a nice one in an upcoming auction.
    Cheech9712 and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  20. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    That was nice. Soothing to read. Do you have a 3 cent bedtime story? @wxcoin. Me and Rodney are waiting
    wxcoin likes this.
  21. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

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