It was wonderful to see several new price records set at yesterday’s Heritage auction in New York City for three cent silvers….

The top three as I see it… first a new high price of $ 64,625 (with the buyers premium)

1854 Three Cent Silver, Splendid MS68
Sole Finest Type Two Example at PCGS
A Coin of Remarkable Quality

1854 3CS MS68 PCGS. CAC. This splendid 1854 three cent silver is the sole finest of the entire Type Two design certified at PCGS, regardless of date. This piece is a happy confluence of a bold strike, generous luster, and particularly attractive patina combined with zero grade-affecting distractions. The clash marks visible in the fields on each side are virtually a given, completely predictable on this denomination and, in any case, they are not considered in grade determination. The mint luster is thick and frosty, the strike is essentially full, producing full detail in all the peripheral elements — remarkable in itself. Finally, the patina, consisting of flecks of iridescent cherry, cobalt-blue, mint-green, pale lavender, and amber-gold, is especially attractive, contrasting against light silver-gray areas.

The second really cool one for me was this 1854 Proof which is a really tough coin to find…perhaps 15-20 around by my accounts, I think the higher Heritage estimates are resubmits to grading services over the years….

$41,125 with the juice…

1854 Three Cent Silver, PR65
Extremely Rare as Such, Type Two
The Clapp-Eliasberg Coin

1854 3CS PR65 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Eliasberg. This piece was described in the Eliasberg catalog thusly: “A magnificent specimen with pale blue and magenta toning. A sharply struck example. An incredibly rare coin, probably high Rarity-6 as a Proof and even higher when a gem as here offered. We have never seen a finer example.”

Variety: Normal Date, heavy numerals, die file marks above TED.

Population Data (4/14): NGC shows three grading events in PR65 with none finer. PCGS shows one in PR65 with two finer.

Heritage Commentary: This Gem proof comes from the initial year of the Type Two three cent silver design, showing two outlines around the obverse star. Two proof dies are known, including one with a repunched date also used to make business strikes. The Mint’s early (pre-1858) proof strikes are largely unrecorded and undocumented productions, usually struck for the well-connected as delicacies, often used as trade bait to enhance the Mint Cabinet. It would be sheer speculation to estimate the number originally struck. Breen’s Proof Encyclopedia estimates that fewer than 20 survive, including some “impaired by drastic cleaning or brief circulation.” More recent estimates are in the range of 25 to 30 pieces, but in any case, Gem proofs or anything finer are extremely rare.

And finally at $47,000 this tough coin

1863/2 Three Cent Silver, PR66 Cameo
Tied for Finest Certified, Remarkably Attractive

1863/2 3CS PR66 Cameo PCGS. CAC. Whether one considers this sparkling Premium Gem Cameo proof 1863/2 three cent silver to be a true overdate (as we do) or a repunched date, in the final essence, it matters little to the variety specialists, and not at all to those collectors who pursue top-flight coins of spectacular beauty and rarity. This piece has a nice TrueView on display at PCGS’ website, showing the remarkable preservation and generous eye appeal. Robin’s-egg-blue and peach-copper tones prevail on each side, with a lightly toned central area on the reverse. There are simply no distractions or impairments on this coin, and a more attractive example would be difficult to imagine.

Jonathan Lerner Revised

Jon Lerner

Jon Lerner, Scarsdale Coin president, is a recognized expert in the numismatist field. Jon has spent over 30 years collecting and evaluating coins. He is often sought out by fellow coin collectors for his advice and knowledge of rare coins.


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Scarsdale Coin

Jon Lerner, a renowned figure in numismatics, discovered his passion for rare coins in his Scarsdale, New York upbringing. With a keen eye for quality, he founded Scarsdale Coin in 1985, quickly establishing it as a premier destination for collectors. Beyond dealing, Jon is a respected speaker and prolific writer, sharing his expertise with enthusiasts worldwide. His commitment to integrity and professionalism has earned him admiration throughout the numismatic community. Jon remains dedicated to enriching collectors' experiences and preserving the legacy of rare coins for future generations.