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Top Pop 1851-O Three-Cent Silver Featured in our August 2021 ANA Auction

​Measuring just 14 mm in diameter, the silver three-cent piece is the smallest silver type ever issued by the U.S. Mint in both size and denomination. When they were introduced in 1851, the new silver three-cent pieces, or trimes, 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, and mintages plunged from a peak of 18.6 million in 1852 to a low of just 1,000 coins in 1872.

The 1851-O silver three-cent piece represents the only branch mint coinage in any denomination smaller than a half dime prior to the 1908-S Indian cent issue. While 720,000 examples were struck, only about 3,500 coins, or 0.05%, survive today. Most are well circulated and even the few Mint State survivors are in lower grades of MS-64 and below.

We are proud to offer an important MS-67 (PCGS) 1851-O three-cent silver in our August ANA Auction. At the Superb Gem level, this piece ranks as the sole finest 1851-O graded by PCGS and is among the best of the Type I issues. It is a sensational example with eye appeal to match the superior preservation. Pearly, brilliant luster dominates the centers while a blend of olive-gold, magenta, and sapphire blue toning surrounds at the border. This color is enhanced by considerable reflectivity in the fields on both sides.

This MS-67 (PCGS) 1851-O silver three-cent will be offered on Tuesday, August 17th in lot 4033 of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction for the ANA World’s Fair of Money. This piece accompanies a vast selection of world-class rarities including the finest known 1804 dollar, a newly discovered 1794 dollar, an original 1827/3 quarter, a Mint State 1796 Stars quarter eagle, and many other treasures.  The sale is available on our firm’s website www.StacksBowers.com for viewing and bidding, featuring high-resolution images, Coins In Motion animations and our user-friendly bidding platform. The Live portions of the August sale will be held from August 16-21 and broadcast in high definition across several platforms including our website, Facebook and YouTube. The Internet-Only sessions will take place the following week, August 23-25. For questions about bidding or to request an in-hand inspection from one of our specialists, please contact our auction services department at 800-458-4646 or e-mail [email protected].

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