DESCRIPTION Gem 1856 Silver Three-CentOnly 3 Finer at CAC1856 Silver Three-Cent Piece. MS-65+ (PCGS). CAC.
A dazzling example of this Type II issue with pearly champagne iridescence and subtle traces of bronze toning near the borders. Uniformly frosty and sharply struck for the issue, with considerable evidence of die clashing noted around the central elements. Fully untouched and delightful to examine in-hand, this piece sits among the finest survivors known. Just 6 coins have been graded finer by PCGS and only 3 are listed higher at CAC.
The silver three-cent pieces produced from 1851 to 1853 were composed of 75% silver and 25% copper, though transitioned in 1854 to a standard silver alloy of 90% silver, 10% copper through the series' end in 1873. In order to distinguish pieces struck in this revised composition, the Mint revised the design slightly by raising the border of the star and adding two extra lines to further outline this device. This design, known in numismatics as the Type II silver three-cent piece, proved short lived and was replaced with the Type III design in 1859, which dropped one of the two extra outlines around the star.
Due at least in part to its brevity, the Type II is the scarcest and most conditionally challenging of the silver three-cent designs. Precious few examples are as nicely preserved and visually appealing as the present Gem, making it an important find for both 3CS specialists and high-end type collectors.PCGS# 3672
.NGC ID: 22Z5
PCGS Population: 1; 6 finer.
CAC Population: 14; 3 finer.