Three Cent Silver 1851 -1873


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Three Cent Silver 1851 -1873

Price: $ 149.95 $ 99.95 SKU: FM1188


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The three cent coin was proposed in 1851 both as a result of the decrease in postage rates from five cents to three and to answer the need for a small-denomination, easy-to-handle coin.

The three cent silver featured a shield on a six sided star on the obverse and the Roman numeral III on the reverse. The coin was initially composed of 75% silver and 25% copper to ensure that the coin would be considered real currency yet not worth melting down for the silver.  Starting in 1854, the three cent silver had its silver metal content raised to 90% in order to encourage circulation.  

It was minted from 1851 to 1873 at the Philadelphia Mint. In 1851 only, the New Orleans Mint struck some of the silver three-cent coins.  Starting in 1865, the Mint began to produce three cent pieces in copper nickel and they are referred to as Three Cent Nickels.  In 1883 the letter postage rate dropped to 2 cents, thus removing the justification for this coin.  The silver three cent piece (along with the silver dollar, the half dime, and the two cent piece) was discontinued by the Coinage Act of 1873.

The coin in this collection is carefully hand-selected for exceptional collector quality and is displayed in a custom presentation with a Certificate of Authenticity.