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Auction #Rich2 > Lot #1132 > Classic U.S. Coins > 3-Cent Silver (Proof) 1851 3cS SEGS Proof 63 DLRC #: 99015

Item Description:

Breen estimates that 4 were struck in Proof, one of which he notes "the Smithsonian's coin is so heavily lacquered after cleaning long ago that it is impossible to tell if it was originally a proof." These few were struck to commemorate the new Three Cent silver denomination.

A single example has been certified by PCGS, that coin is the Eliasberg example as Proof 66. None have been certified by NGC to date. Unfortunately, Breen made no notations as to the die diagnostics on these coins that were reported in his Proof Encyclopedia or his Complete Encyclopedia. There a no known or reported proof struck in 1852 or 1853, making this date the only possible Type 1 Proof Three Cent Silver.

Toned with blue and gold peripheral toning, and this is likely the Gilhousen coin (Superior 10/73: 108) or the Garrett coin (Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, 10/80:1549). There are some similarities to the toning on the Garrett coin, but confirmation can't be certain without further research. Experts disagree as to whether this coin is truly a Proof strike, or an exceptional deeply-mirrored example of this date (Presentation Piece ???). Certainly Larry Briggs believes the coin to be of Proof dies and strike as he personally signed the label of slab. We leave the ultimate determination to the buyer of this coin.

This coin was last sold in Ira and Larry Goldberg's California Sale (10/2000: lot 1431), where it brought for $6,842. James Ross Snowden, director of the Mint, decided that this new denomination should be known as "Trimes," noting their fractional status of the current dime denomination. The name didn't stick, and the public soon called them "fish scales" because of their small size and reflective silver color.

Without question, this issue is one of the great rarities in all of American numismatics for first year of issue proof coinage, and a classic which will be the highlight of an advanced collection. It is very possible this is one of just two possible proof Type I Trimes. Known specimens:

1) Smithsonian Institution: proof status not certain as noted.

2) Eliasberg: Bowers and Merena 5/96:839 "Proof-65." Most likely PCGS PR66 today. Realized $61,600 at the auction. Later sold private treaty for over $100,000.

3) Gilhousen: Superior 10/73:108 "Brilliant choice, partly stained, Proof" from an old Philadelphia estate.

4) Garrett: Bowers and Ruddy 10/80:1549 "Choice Proof."

5) California Sale: Ira and Larry Goldberg 10/2000:1431 SEGS Pr-63-the present specimen and likely 3 or 4 above.

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Sold For: $9,775.00

Coin Specs (Powered by Collectibles Technology Company. Learn more about CTC)

Category: 2-Cent & 3-Cent Pieces
Series: 3-Cent Silver (Proof)
Type: Three-Cent Silver, Type 1
Years for Type: 1851-1853
Strike: Proof
Denomination: Three Cent Silver
Mint Location: Philadelphia
Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: 0.9 silver; 0.1 copper
Diameter: 14mm
Weight: 0.8g / 0.03oz
Edge Type: Plain

DLRC Auctions · Past Auction Records

Description Lot # / Auction Realized Date
1851 3cS SEGS Proof 63 1132: Richmond Sale, Part II Login 11/30/04

Click here to view past auction records for all grades of this issue.

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