HomeUS Coins1866 Three Cent Nickel Proof : A Collector's Guide

1866 Three Cent Nickel Proof : A Collector’s Guide

1866 Proof Three-Cent Nickel. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1866 Proof Three-Cent Nickel. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

According to the Red Book, the United States Mint in Philadelphia struck at least 725+ Proof Three Cent nickel coins in 1866. Numismatist John Dannreuther, in his United Sates Proof Coins: Volume II: Nickel (2023), estimates the mintage at 800.

One obverse die and two reverse dies were used to strike these Proofs. The predominant pair is JD-1, which Dannreuther asserts struck 85% of the year’s Proofs. The JD-2 die, discovered by Gary Rosner, features full detail and is notable for the presence of chips in the dentils.

Some estimate that the actual mintage may have reached as high as 800 to 1,200 pieces.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Dealer Donald E. Brigandi offered “gem Proof” examples for $195 USD each in the March 1965 issue of The Numismatist.

Top Population: PCGS PR67+DCAM (1, 3/2024). NGC PF68UC (1, 3/2024). CAC PR67DCAM (4:0 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

  • NGC PF68UCAM #4673533-005: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, December 12, 2019, Lot 137 – $24,675. JD-1.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM CAC CMQ #31090757: Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2024, Lot 4043 – View. Wispy gold toning throughout.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM CAC #38026717: As PCGS PR67DCAM #16545203. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 17, 2018, Lot 388 – $8,812.50. As PCGS PR67DCAM CAC #38026717. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, January 30, 2020, Lot 102 – $17,625; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, April 21, 2021, Lot 252 – $17,625; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, January 27, 2022, Lot 24 – $13,512.50; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 25, 2023, Lot 65 – $12,337.50. JD-1.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM #84018496: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October 2017, Lot 117; “The Warren Collection”, Heritage Auctions, May 5, 2022, Lot 3885 – $6,600.
  • NGC PF67UCAM #1633045-004: Stack’s Bowers, February 28, 2019, Lot 1029 – $6,000.
  • NGC PF67*UCAM #4228118-005: Stack’s Bowers, March 22, 2018, Lot 2193 – $14,400. Copper toning spot on rim above I in UNITED.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM CAC: Stack’s Bowers, March 13, 2013, Lot 2017 – $17,625. Light gold color throughout. Granularity of frost of cheek.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM CAC #82161127: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, January 26, 2017, Lot 120 – $17,037.50.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM CAC #81340205: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, September 29, 2016, Lot 188 – $21,737.50.
  • NGC PF67UCAM #4299242-003: Heritage Auctions, January 7, 2016, Lot 4721 – $5,170.
  • PCGS PR67DCAM #25209561: Heritage Auctions, April 23, 2015, Lot 4944 – $17,625.
  • NGC PF67*UCAM #3193201-001: Heritage Auctions, July 31, 2008, Lot 1286 – $14,950.
  • NGC PF67UCAM: “The J.B. Worthington Collection”, American Numismatic Rarities, May 24, 2005, Lot 23 – $6,440.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1866
Denomination: Three Cents (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: ±725
Alloy: .750 Copper, .250 Nickel
Weight: 1.94 g
Diameter: 17.90 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: James Barton Longacre
REV Designer: James Barton Longacre
Quality: Proof

 

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Learn about the 1866 Three Cent Nickel Circulation Strike coin

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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