By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Measuring just 14 mm in diameter, the silver three-cent piece is the smallest silver type ever issued by the United States Mint in both size and denomination. Across all U.S. coinage, only the Type I gold dollar is tinier at 13 mm. As such, the silver-three cent piece is perhaps one of the more underappreciated series in the Red Book, even though it offers a rich depth of conditional rarity and challenging varieties.
Upon introduction in 1851, the new silver three-cent piece, or trime, circulated widely, primarily used for postage stamps as was intended. Soon, however, the coin’s small size caused them to be frequently damaged or lost. The denomination gradually lost utility and popularity, sending mintages plunging from a peak of 18.6 million in 1852 to a low of just 1,000 coins in 1872.
We are thrilled to offer an incredible MS-67+ (PCGS) CAC 1853 three-cent piece in our June 2021 Costa Mesa Auction. Not only is it tied with the very finest seen by PCGS for the date, but it also displays a psychedelic patina that is rarely encountered on 19th-century silver coins. The obverse of the Superb Gem features tight bands of emerald-green, magenta, and gold that grow deeper toward the border. The reverse shows faint champagne and powder-blue toning at the center and intense bands of color that highlight the stars at the border. Visually stunning and technically pristine, with approval by CAC that emphasizes the superior quality.
This magnificent MS-67+ (PCGS) CAC trime can be found in lot 1353 of our June 2021 Showcase Auction, hosted at the state-of-the-art auction gallery in our new Costa Mesa, California headquarters. The June sale arrives on the heels of our record-setting auctions in March and April that saw combined prices realized above $60 million. With seven lots from these events exceeding $1 million, the numismatic market clearly remains strong heading into the summer auction season. The June auction is now available for viewing and bidding on our website www.StacksBowers.com.
For questions about the auction or to order a copy of the printed catalog, please contact our Auction Services team by telephone at 800-566-2580 or by email at [email protected].