US Coins

Few MS 1854-D Indian Head $3s exist: Market Analysis

The 1854-D Indian Head $3 coin represents the sole issue of the denomination at the Dahlonega Mint. Pogue’s example of this classic rarity grades MS-62 and sold for a healthy $188,000.

Original images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The D. Brent Pogue Collection is known for its strengths in 18th and early 19th century U.S. copper, silver and gold coins. His set of Indian Head gold $3 coins, struck between 1854 and 1889, is a bit of an outlier among his holdings.

At Part III of the Pogue Collection, offered in New York by Sotheby’s and Stack’s Bowers Galleries, coins from his gold $3 set, considered among the finest and most complete ever assembled (though missing the unique 1870-S coin currently held by the Harry Bass Foundation) sold for more than $2.6 million, exceeding the $1.985 million low estimate total.

Here is one of three coins from the set that we're breaking down in this week's Market Analysis:

The Coin:

1854-D Indian Head gold $3 piece, MS-62

The Price:


The Story:

1854 represented the first year of the $3 denomination and it was the only year that the type was struck at the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia. The entire production was small at just 1,120 pieces and all of the 1854-D $3 coins were struck in August from a single die pair.

Virtually all of these circulated heavily with the typical example grading Very Fine. Stack’s Bowers noted, “None are known to have been saved purposefully by a numismatist, and not even the curators of the Mint Cabinet showed an interest in obtaining an example.”

COIN VALUES: What your Indian Head gold $3 coin is worth

The lot description observed, “Advanced cabinets of Indian Princess $3 gold pieces are often judged by the overall quality of the 1854-D issue,” adding, “It is believed that fewer than a half dozen examples of this rarity can accurately be called Mint State today.”

The PCGS MS-62 rarity, with nice deep yellow-gold color, sold for $188,000, at an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000.

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