US Coins

1871 'fully frosted' 3-cent coin finds new home

In the last major auction of 2017, a beautifully toned 1795 Flowing Hair half dollar graded Mint State 62 by Professional Coin Grading Service brought $141,000, leading bidding at Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Dec. 14, 2017, Regency XXIV auction in Las Vegas. The half dollar was previously offered at Heritage’s November 2013 auction of selections from the collection of legendary collector Eric P. Newman, where it sold for $129,250. It’s the second finest example of the Overton 119 die pair, and Legend remarked that it “has a lot going for it, ranking near the top of the condition census, a great pedigree, and high-end look.”

Here is another coin, one of three gorgeous, high-grade 19th century coins we present from the many that impressed bidders in the Regency XXIV sale.

The Lot:

1871 3-cent coin, PCGS Mint State 67, CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

Copper-nickel 3-cent pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint from 1865 to 1889, and collectors generally are happy to add a single example to their holdings as a type coin. Some specialize in the series and many dates are condition rarities, such as the 1871. After annual mintages of over 1 million until 1870,

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1871 saw a reduced mintage of 604,000 copper-nickel 3-cent pieces. Because of the spot-prone nature of copper-nickel, few examples survive in very top grades. Legend offered one graded MS-67 by PCGS and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corporation sticker that is tied for the finest at PCGS.

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Legend commented, “Fully frosted satiny surfaces are smooth and free of any ticks, lines, or flecks that might distract the eye,” further recognizing its bold strike and “icy-silver blue nickel coloration” that remains “as brilliant and fresh as the day the coin came out of the mint.” The little pretty coin sold for $14,100.

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