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Three Dollar Gold pieces 1854 to 1889

When the postage rate was reduced from five cents to three cents in the early 1850's, simultaneously the mint initiated coinage of the tiny silver three-cent piece as a public convenience. This reasoning was carried a step further when the Mint Act of February 21, 1853 authorized a three-dollar gold coin. They hoped the new coin would speed purchases of three-cent stamps by the sheet.

The Three Dollar Gold Pieces were produced from 1854 to 1899.

Chief Engraver James Barton Longacre chose an Indian Princess for the Three Dollar Gold Piece obverse. Miss Liberty is wearing a feathered headdress of equal-sized plumes with a band bearing LIBERTY in raised letters. She’s surrounded by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Longacre’s reverse depicted a wreath of tobacco, wheat, corn and cotton with a plant at top bearing two conical seed masses.

1878 Three Dollar Gold Piece 1878 Three Dollar Gold Piece reverse

1878 Three Dollar Gold Piece

A total of just over 535,000 pieces were issued. The three-dollar denomination quietly expired in 1889 along with the gold dollar and nickel three-cent piece. Most three-dollar pieces are found in the grades of Very Fine or Extremely Fine, many of them damaged from use as jewelry.

Three Dollar Gold pieces 1854 to 1889

The best place to purchase Three Dollar Gold Pieces is at eBay. When buying gold coins be prepaired to pay high prices as they are very rare in any condition. However, there are good bargains to be found on eBay. Expect to pay above $500.00 for a better Three Dollar Gold Piece.

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