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Basis: gold @ $1,297.12 -- Updated: 09/22/2017
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Common date $3 Princess gold coins in near-gem Mint State 64 condition combine extreme scarcity, top-level collector demand, and a unique design to create one of the most attractive coins on the market.
Minted from 1854 to 1889, $3 Princess coins were created so people could easily purchase 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, which is why Princesses were among the first U.S. coins to gain numismatic interest. Out of a total mintage of less than 550,000, only 3,017 survivors are known in near-gem MS64 condition (PCGS + NGC, 9/18/2017). Many counterfeits are known to exist so buy only NGC or PCGS certified coins. In 1989, they traded dealer-to-dealer for $13,100, and reached that level again in May 2006. 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 3,017 survivors certified in MS64. Historically, this extreme scarcity can mean higher premiums during periods of peak demand.
• Previous market high of $13,100 in 1989 and last May. Combines low prices with excellent upside potential.
• Private, liquid, and secure. Unlike most forms of gold bullion, they are exempt from broker reporting requirements.
$3 Princess (MS64)
Minted: 1854 to 1889 (dates our choice)
Content: .14512 oz.
oz. pure gold
Size: 20.5 mm, reeded edge
Weight: 5.015 grams