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$3 Princess Gold

The Indian Princess Three Dollar Gold Coin was produced from 1854 through 1889. It was certainly one of the more odd denominations of coinage produced by the U.S. Mint. Many people do not even know this sort of coinage existed considering its relatively short lifespan and how the value of gold at that time was less than silver is today. This series is one of those hidden gems in gold numismatics that is certainly worth learning more about. These Three Dollar Pieces were only struck in minimal amounts with just 10,000 coins being about the average mintage for this series/denomination. There are many exciting key dates and rarities ranging from mintages in the hundreds to absolute unique specimens. The story of how these coins came to be is quite unexciting but very logical. Since stamps dropped from 5 cents to 3 in the early 1850’s Three Cent Silvers were created for the purpose of stamp buying. Another way to buy stamps was by the full sheet which explains the existence of the Indian Princess Three Dollar Gold Coin since there are 100 stamps on a sheet making it cost 3 dollars. Under an Act put in place in 1853, the infamous engraver Longacre was provided with the duties of designing this new denomination. He went on to design this coin at the same time as the revamping of the gold dollar which is why they look so much alike. The design is very appealing to the eye with a large, pretty obverse device and very clear notation of the date and denomination within a wreath on the reverse. Production of this coin began in 1854 at the Mints in Philadelphia, Dahlonega and New Orleans. Mintage numbers started relatively high at around 100,000 and then quickly plummeted. Smaller and smaller mintages as the years went on. Miniscule mintages of proofs were also struck for this series. Proof mintage numbers on average are around 20 pieces with some later issues being produced in the low triple digits. Some business strike rarities include the 1854-D, the 1870-S and the 1873. The proof rarities are much more extensive but are highlighted by the 1875 and 1876 but nothing compares to the 1855-S branch mint proof rarity. This coin is beautifully designed and extremely unique. The denomination ended by 1889 and was never brought back. Many of the coins in this series are incredibly rare and even the common dates are scarce as high end gems. Even with all that said this series is not highly collected and the market for these coins is quite small. This is not to say that things cannot change for this Indian Princess Three Dollar coins as there are plenty of reasons to be interested in them.

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