Poor 1. It is as low as it gets on Dr. William H. Sheldon’s 1 to 70
grading scale that’s used today for U.S. coins. The grade is generally
defined as representing a coin that’s clear enough to identify, with a
date and Mint mark that may be nearly worn smooth and a reverse that
can be nearly blank as all the details have worn. Generally, it’s hard
to find a Poor 1 coin that doesn’t have another problem, like
corrosion/environmental damage, harsh cleaning or rim damage.
1856-S Indian Head gold $3 coin, Poor 1
Several years ago when Professional Coin Grading Service introduced
its “low ball” Registry Sets for coins in low, problem-free grades,
collectors began to try to get coins into Poor 1 holders.
This 1856-S Indian Head gold $3 coin is in an older, green-label
holder that predates the popularity of “low ball” sets.
It’s unusual for several reasons. Beyond its older PCGS holder, it
is unusual to see gold issues this well-worn, and the $3 coin was
likely a pocket piece where its details wore off over the course of years.
COIN VALUES: How much is your Indian Head gold $3 coin worth?
It is from a mintage of 34,500 pieces, among the highest in the gold
$3 coin series, although the issue becomes scarcer in high grades. The
designs are nearly worn smooth, with just enough details remaining to
identify the date and Mint mark. It sold for $1,645 at Heritage’s Dec.
7, 2013, auction of the Donald E. Bently Collection.
Keep reading this Market Analysis:
Connect with Coin World:
Get our free report: How to Invest in Rare Coins