US Coins

Market Analysis: Short-lived denomination ends in 1873

Two types of the numeral 3 were used for the final digit in the date of 1873 2-cent pieces: the Close or Closed 3 and the Open 3. The issue was struck in Proof-only format and Legend Rare Coin Auctions offered both subtypes in its Regency 37 offering.

An 1873 Open 3 example graded Proof 65 red by Professional Coin Grading Service brought $4,935 and featured brilliant surfaces, a crisp strike, and great eye appeal.

Even more impressive was an 1873 Closed 3 2-cent coin graded Proof 66 red Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., with a green CAC sticker, that realized $25,850. A detail image shows that the Closed 3 numeral at first glance resembles an 8.

The offering was noteworthy for both its original Mint red color and its cameo contrast. Legend observed, “The mirrors are brilliant and deep, and offer a bold contrast against the highly frosted reliefs,” adding, “The eye appeal is exceptional, very rarely do these bronze issues come with full CAMEO contrast on both sides.”

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