Three Cent Silvers in Rarities Night

During a Rarities Night at the Baltimore Convention Center, Stack’s-Bowers auctioned an exceptional group of three cent silver coins. Three cent silver coins are not a great rarity, but most issues are scarce. A three cent silver coin truly graded MS-67 or MS-68 (a 01 to 70 scale) grade as important condition rarities. The quality of these coins at auction was reported as astounding by Greg Reynolds.

U.S. three cent silver coins date between 1851 and 1873, are smaller than dimes, and are sometimes called trimes. A very valuable Eliasberg 1851 trime could not overshadow the gem quality of the three cent silvers at the auction.

The traditional method of collecting three cent silvers is to complete a set. The least costly and most fun manner to do this for a beginning or intermediate level collector is to buy business strikes for all dates from 1851 to 1862, then mixing Proofs and business strikes by including the purchase of coins certified Proof by PCGS or NGC for the dates from 1863 to 1873.

Collectors often, however, acquire just three instead of a full set of all dates. The three cent silver coins are a beautiful and complimentary addition to a coin collection because of their simplicity and small size, pleasing the eye following the one-ounce or quarter-sized coins.

Many three cent silvers are relatively inexpensive, with coins dating from 1859 to 1862 costing between $25 and $40 each in Good grades and around $50 in Very Good-08 grade. The VF-20 grade carries prices between $70 and $85 that are considered fair. Other examples, such as all of the coins dating from 1863 to 1872 can be found for prices ranging from $300 to $850 each.

The astounding coins offered at the above-mentioned auction, however, sold for considerably higher sums. The auction included an 1858 Poof certified Proof-66 Cameo by PCGS and CAC approved. There are likely around sixty or seventy Proof 1858 Three Cent Silvers in existence and the example on auction was one of the better coins. The coins realized a price of $27,600, the second highest paid for the 1858 three cent silver at auction.

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