HomeUS Coins1862 Three Cent Silver : A Collector's Guide

1862 Three Cent Silver : A Collector’s Guide

1862 Three-Cent Silver Coin. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1862 Three-Cent Silver Coin. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

The United States Mint at Philadelphia struck 343,000 Three-Cent Silver coins in 1862; this was the last mintage over 100,000 that the series would ever see. Withdrawal of silver from circulation in the spring of 1862 signaled the end of the Three-Cent Silver as a circulating coin.

Coinage of 1862 Business Strike Three Cent Silver Coins
January 19, 1862 100,000 struck January 20, 1862 75,000 struck
February 4, 1862 34,000 struck March 10, 1862 62,000 struck
August 13, 1862 72,000 struck Total: 343,550 coins

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS67+ (4, 3/2024). NGC MS68 (2, 3/2024). CAC MS67 (24:0 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

The 1862 Three-Cent Silver coin was saved in large numbers in Mint State and is surprisingly common in grades MS65 and above.

Toning is the norm for coins in the upper end of Mint State. This is expected, as silver will turn colors over time as the metal reacts with the environment. Coins that are not toned have most likely been dipped at some point. There are also examples with dull mostly uniform color, which may indicate that the coins were dipped at one point and have re-toned over time. With colorfully toned coins, eye appeal is highly subjective. Coins that consistently realize more money than comparably graded coins sold during the same period are likely considered PQ for the grade by series specialists.

  • NGC MS68* #2099822-004: As NGC MS67 #3266049-001. Heritage Auctions, February 2010, Lot 215 – $2,990; Heritage Auctions, January 9, 2013, Lot 3315 – $3,525. Heritage Auctions, August 12, 2015, Lot 3341 – $2,585; Heritage Auctions, March 3, 2016, Lot 3605 – $2,350; As NGC MS68* #3266049-001. Heritage Auctions, April 23, 2020, Lot 3664 – $5,760. Coin upgraded one point plus star. Vivid rainbow toning, crescent vivid blue and purple around the upper portion of the coin. Russet and gold in the lower portion.
  • PCGS MS67+ #46873394: GreatCollections, June 25, 2023, Lot 912328 – View.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #38257598: As PCGS MS67 CAC #35971752. Heritage Auctions, December 13, 2018, Lot 3183 – $3,120. As PCGS MS67+ CAC #38257598. “The Larry Shapiro Collection”, Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 27, 2021, Lot 390 – $21,737.50. Upgraded one half point. Vivid rainbow reverse toning. Obverse toning is predominately gold.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #44156308: “Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part VII”, Heritage Auctions, January 13, 2022, Lot 3749 – $4,080. Simpson novelty insert. Coppery russet toning. Clashed dies.
  • NGC MS67 #5744378-005: Heritage Auctions, April 23, 2020, Lot 3192 – $2,100; Heritage Auctions, August 22, 2021 – $2,160. Green and gold toning.
  • PCGS MS67 #41753128: Heritage Auctions, June 18, 2021, Lot 3378 – $2,640; Heritage Auctions, November 11, 2021, Lot 3045 – $1,860. Dark eggplant toning.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #25349033: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 27, 2021, Lot 453 – $4,230. Brilliant. Struck with clashed dies.
  • NGC MS67* #4885392-001: Heritage Auctions, October 15, 2019, Lot 25086 – $3,600. Vivid and beautiful rainbow toning. PQ.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #36364893: Heritage Auctions, January 31, 2019, Lot 3172 – $3,250.80. Darkly toned peach and gold colors. Struck with clashed dies.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #81021674: Heritage Auctions, November 11, 2018, Lot 5053 – $4,100. Gold toning with darker toning bordering the devices.
  • NGC MS67 #4626899-002: Heritage Auctions, April 25, 2018, Lot 3123 – $1,680.
  • PCGS MS67 #33891145: David Lawrence Rare Coins, November 12, 2017, Lot 2067 – $3,150; Heritage Auctions, March 30, 2018, Lot 3438 – $1,980. Brilliant. Struck with clashed dies.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #50071832: David Lawrence Rare Coins, December 24, 2017, Lot 5078 – $4,200. Lime green toning.
  • NGC MS67 #3814841-001: Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2017, Lot 3416 – $1,997.50; Heritage Auctions, March 30, 2018, Lot 3439 – $1,802.40. Lightly toned.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #82431212: Heritage Auctions, February 16, 2017, Lot 3654 – $8,225. All over russet and blue toning.
  • NGC MS67 #4252288-001: Heritage Auctions, September 7, 2016, Lot 3651 – $1,997.50. Colorful toning on both sides. Reverse has superior target toning with red in the center and blue and purple along the periphery.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #25618254: Heritage Auctions, April 27, 2016, Lot 3143 – $6,462.50; Heritage Auctions, July 7, 2016, Lot 3188 – $3,995. Blue and purple all-over toning. White spot between 2 and A.
  • PCGS MS67 #25688315: As PCGS MS67 #25253884. Heritage Auctions, April 22, 2015, Lot 3466 – $2,937.50; Heritage Auctions, September 17, 2015, Lot 3242 – $2,585. Regraded. Rose toning with cobalt and red toning around the periphery.
  • NGC MS67 #3749904-013: Heritage Auctions, June 4, 2015, Lot 3258 – $2,820. Highland Collection on insert. Dark rainbow toning.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #2307823: Pinnacle Rarities to Eugene Gardner, by private treaty, February 2003; “The Eugene H. Gardner Collection III”, Heritage Auctions, May 12, 2015, Lot 98104 – $3,290. Old Green Holder. All over toning.
  • NGC MS67*PL #3669231-006: Heritage Auctions, August 8, 2013, Lot 3289 – $4,700. Faint toning. Planchet defect below I in AMERICA. Additional planchet defects to the right of the second I in III and in the lower curl of the filigree.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #25057002: Heritage Auctions, March 21, 2013, Lot 3132 – $3,818.75. Target toning with fingerprints on the obverse and reverse. Weakly struck reverse.
  • NGC MS67 #3266049-001: Heritage Auctions, January 9, 2013, Lot 3315 – $3,525.
  • PCGS MS67 #50049665: Heritage Auctions, January 5, 2011, Lot 3197 – $2,990. Brilliant. Struck with clashed dies.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #8314288: Heritage Auctions, July 31, 2009, Lot 192 – $2,990; Heritage Auctions, August 12, 2010, Lot 4016 – $3,220. Rainbow toned obverse and reverse. 
  • NGC MS67 #1887184-003: Heritage Auctions, February 16, 2008, Lot 3302 – $2,070. Brilliant.
  • NGC MS67 #1633908-007: “The Chief Paduke Collection”, Heritage Auctions, August 13, 2006, Lot 500 – $3,220. Brilliant.
  • NGC MS67 #654950-003: Heritage Auctions, July 7, 2006, Lot 268 – $2,760. Brilliant.
  • NGC MS67 #1731157-012: Legend Numismatics to Haig A. Koshkarian, via private treaty, March 1994; “The Haig A. Koshkarian Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, March 9, 2004, Lot 27 – $3,910; Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2006, Lot 1056 – $2,127.50. Rainbow target toning on both sides.
  • NGC MS67 #660948-003: Heritage Auctions, July 5, 2005, Lot 11210 – $2,415; Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2007, Lot 2442 – $1,840. Dappled gold and brown toning.
  • NGC MS67 #323774-003: Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2004, Lot 5371 – $2,587.50. Faint lemon hue.
  • NGC MS67* 2032293-005: Heritage Auctions, May 6, 2004, Lot 5909 – $2,760. Dark green and red toning.
  • NGC MS67 #1635205-006: Heritage Auctions, January 8, 2004, Lot 5052 – $2,760. Frost on the devices.
  • NGC MS67 #147494-002: Heritage Auctions, April 9, 2002, Lot 13162 – $2,587.50.

1862/1 Three-Cent Silver (FS-301)

Close-up of an 1862/1 three-cent silver coin. The 1 underneath the 2 is best seen under glass, however the pronounced die crack, that runs through the 1 is usually diagnostic. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
Close-up of an 1862/1 three-cent silver coin. The 1 underneath the 2 is best seen under glass, however the pronounced die crack, that runs through the 1 is usually diagnostic. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

This variety was discovered in 1963 by collector John Cobb.

Dealers Abner Kreisberg and Jerry Cohen offered an example of the 1862/1 Three-Cent Silver coin they described as “Gem BU – Beautiful frosty lustre” in their February 1978 Numismatist ad for $325 USD.

Top Population: PCGS MS67+ (1, 3/2024). NGC MS67 (20, 3/2024). CAC MS67 (10:0 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

  • NGC MS-67+ #5742421-002: Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2024, Lot 4037 – View. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #44156309: “Important Selections from the Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part VII”, Heritage Auctions, January 13, 2022, Lot 3748 – $26,400. Simpson novelty insert. Russet / gold toning. Pale spot to the left of A in AMERICA. Dark toning between 1 and U. Die crack around lower periphery of the obverse. 
  • PCGS MS67 #25339819: Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2023, Lot 3412 – View.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #43082331: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, February 23, 2023, Lot 63 – $5,875.
  • PCGS MS67 #38475495: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, April 21, 2021, Lot 248 – $4,582.50. Dark, vivid toning in aqua, red, and purple. 
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #25352967: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, February 19, 2015, Lot 37 – $8,225.
  • PCGS MS67 #9918820: Heritage Auctions, September 18, 2003, Lot 5825 – $3,306.25. Old Green Holder. Largely brilliant.
  • NGC MS66+ CAC #3813903-002: Heritage Auctions, April 28, 2022, Lot 88 – $2,232.50. Blue, gold, and green toning on both sides.
  • PCGS MS66 CAC #36580059: Heritage Auctions, March 15, 2019, Lot 3565 – $1,560.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1862
Denomination: One Cent (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 343,000
Alloy: .900 Silver, .100 Copper
Weight: 0.75 grams
Diameter: 14.00 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: James Barton Longacre
REV Designer: James Barton Longacre
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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