The odd three dollar gold denomination debuted in 1854. Three mints made the coins in 1854, including a one-time delivery from the New Orleans Mint, obviously making this piece an extremely desirable acquisition for the collector of New Orleans gold. Circulated examples are the most commonly encountered, and Mint State specimens are rare.
The Philadelphia Mint understandably had the highest first-year mintage, an enormous production of 138,618 circulation strikes, apparently in anticipation of a popularity level for this new denomination that never materialized.
The Dahlonega Mint likewise made an effort, with a small issue of 1,120 pieces; the only time that the Georgia mint ever struck the three-dollar denomination.
The mintage at New Orleans was a respectable 24,000 coins, while the Big Easy's coining facility chiefly concentrated on manufacturing silver Seated coinage, and other gold denominations, in 1854.
The San Francisco Mint was operational in 1854, but waited until the following year to strike their first issue of three-dollar gold. Other three -dollar issues occurred in 1856 and 1857, while the final San Francisco Mint threes were produced in 1860.
The Charlotte Mint failed to strike any gold threes in 1854; in fact, it never struck the denomination at all.
The Select Mint State example that we currently offer to our customers is the single-finest known, at either of the major grading companies. It has a light greenish tint across semiprooflike surfaces, and the design motifs are sharply struck throughout. The reverse shows prominent die cracks through the mintmark, one extending to the right margin at 4 o'clock. A pair of linear planchet flaws exist, one through the I in UNITED, and a second to the left of U. Planchet flakes are evident to the right of OF. All of these mint-made features, none of which do any great harm to the coins' overall eye appeal, will be useful in the future for pedigree purposes, if this piece is ever cracked out of its current NGC holder.
NGC Census: 1; 0 finer.