1869/8 3CS Three Cent Silver Piece PCGS PR66
Here's a great opportunity to acquire a true rarity in the Three Cent Silver series in Proof.
The Greysheet writes, "The 1869/8 overdate variety is very popular in the Proof Three Cent Silver Series. The eight can be seen very faintly around the nine in the date. Scarce in PR60 through PR64. PR65 and finer are considered very rare." Out of its mintage of 600, there have been 4 graded PCGS PR66, with only 2 finer.
Of his coin, the designer-engraver James B. Longacre (above) wrote,
On so small a coin it is impossible that the device can be at once conspicuous and striking unless it is simple—complexity would defeat the object. For the obverse I have therefore chosen a star (one of the heraldic elements of the National crest) bearing on its centre the shield of the Union, surrounded by the legal inscription and date. For the reverse I have devised an ornamental letter C embracing in its centre the Roman numeral III, the whole encircled by the thirteen stars.
The extensive importation of gold from the California Gold Rush resulted in silver being traded for ever increasing amounts of gold. Therefore U.S. silver coins, which realized higher prices overseas, were exported and melted for their bullion value. This activity, combined with the lowering of postage rates to three cents, inspired Congress in 1851 to authorize a 3-cent coin crafted of .750 fine silver, and not the traditional .900. Thus the three-cent silver piece was the first silver coin to contain metal valued much less than its face value, as well as the first silver coin not to be legal tender for an unlimited amount. This coin, also called a 'trime,' saw heavy circulation until Congress acted again in 1853, making other silver coins lighter, keeping them in circulation. At that time, Congress also lightened the trime, and increased its fineness to .900 silver.
|Year of Issue||1869|
|Denom Type||Three Cent Silver|
|Grade Add On||NONE|
|Is on Sale||No|