Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 48

Lot 1238

1869 $3 Gold. NGC graded Proof 65 Ultra Cameo. In NGC holder 1848569-007. A full blazing untoned Ultra Cameo Gem Proof specimen. Only 25 Proofs struck. This is an amazing representative of this exceedingly rare issue, and it is the only Ultra or Deep Cameo specimen known to the two major grading services. Fully struck, satin-textured devices appear to float atop deep pools of mirrored reflectivity in the fields. The delicate surfaces have obviously been well cared for since the day of issue, and an even endowment of warm yellow-gold color is also a praiseworthy attribute.

As with the Proof 1868, the 1869 has an original mintage of a mere 25 coins. Of this already limited total, only 12 or perhaps 14 pieces have survived, including several held in museum collections. For the collector or investor seeking a truly rare coin, the Proof 1869 Three-Dollar gold piece comes highly recommended.

Simply put, all Proof Three-Dollar gold pieces are rare coins. Some are exceedingly so, such as the pre-1859 issues which were produced in unknown, although presumably extremely limited quantities. Two, the 1875 and 1876, enjoy heightened demand from date collectors as Proof-only deliveries. Others are the focus of nearly the same degree of buyer attention due to paltry original mintages for their identically dated business strike counterparts. Examples from this final group include the 1881, 1883 and 1885. As for the remaining issues, none can even be remotely described as common. In fact, the most frequently encountered Proof Three in today's market, the 1888, has an extant population of fewer than 150 coins -- definitely a limited total when viewed in the wider context of numismatics. Pop 1; finest graded and the only graded Ultra Cameo at either service. Here is a candidate for finest known. (PCGS # 98032) .

Historic note: The origins of this odd denomination stretch all the way back to 1832, when Representative Campbell P. White of New York introduced a bill calling for minting of a three-dollar gold piece with a weight of 75 grains. The bill never reached a vote, however, and it would be several years before the federal government returned to the idea of authorizing a three-dollar gold piece. In 1851, Congress reduced the postal letter rate to three cents while simultaneously authorizing the Mint to strike three-cent pieces in low-fineness silver to expedite purchase of stamps. The Mint Act of February 21, 1853, while best known for reducing the weight of most silver coins and adding arrows at both sides of their dates, also included a clause authorizing production of a three-dollar gold piece. Apparently, Congressional leaders anticipated that this denomination would expedite exchange of three-cent silver rolls and/or purchase of full sheets of three-cent stamps. Business strikes and Proofs were produced every year from 1854 through 1889 with the exception of 1875 and 1876, when only Proofs were struck.
Estimated Value $55,000 - 65,000.


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