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Basis: gold @ $1,298.80 -- Updated: 05/03/2016
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Common date $3 Princess gold coins in choice Mint State 63 condition are extremely scarce for the grade, yet quite inexpensive today. Combining a unique design with great scarcity and relatively low prices, they're one of our favorites.
Minted from 1854 to 1889, $3 Princess coins were created so people could easily buy 3-cent postage stamps in packets of 100. The obverse design features the profile of an Indian princess crowned with a circle of feathers, bound with the inscription LIBERTY. James B. Longacre, the Mint's Chief Engraver from 1844 to 1869, designed it and several other classic U.S. coins. Historians believe his model was a Roman marble sculpture of "Crouching Venus" on display at the Philadelphia museum, to which he added the distinctive feathered headdress. The reverse depicts a wreath of tobacco, wheat, corn, and cotton.
Miniscule mintages, few survivors
Mintages for most years are extremely low, often less than 5,000 pieces, which is why Princesses were among the first U.S. coins to gain numismatic interest. Many counterfeits are known to exist so buy only NGC or PCGS certified coins. Out of a total mintage of less than 550,000, only around 3,260 survivors are known in choice MS63 condition (PCGS + NGC, 4/22/2016). In 2006, they reached $10,600. Yet they're trading right now at a substantial discount to their recent high.
Unlike most forms of gold bullion, they are exempt from broker reporting requirements. In our opinion, they offer a lot of bang for the buck.
• Only 3,260 survivors certified in MS63. This true scarcity can mean higher premiums during periods of increased demand.
• Traded for $10,600 in 2006. Combines low price with great upside potential.
• Private, liquid, and secure. Unlike most forms of gold bullion, they are exempt from broker reporting requirements.
$3 Princess (MS63)
Minted: 1854 to 1889 (dates our choice)
Content: .14512 oz. pure gold
oz. pure gold
Size: 20.5 mm, reeded edge
Weight: 5.015 grams