- USA Coin Book
- Gold $3
- Indian Princess Head
- 1870-S : Unique
1870 S Indian Princess Head Gold $3 : Unique
Three Dollar Piece - Early Gold Coins
Metal Composition: 90% Gold - 10% Copper
Diameter: 20.5 mm
Mass / Weight: 5.015 grams
What this coin looks like (obverse, reverse, mint mark location, special features, etc.):
The 1870-S $3 Gold Piece is one of the most famous gold coins created by the US Mint. This is also a unique piece and only 1 coin is known to exist. The Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint indicated that only 1 coin was to be produced and placed in the cornerstone of the newly built San Francisco Mint building. Although in 1911 at a William H. Woodin sale - a new 1870-S specimen was identified. It's very possible that this is simply the same unique coin meant to be placed in the cornerstone.
This coin is in Extremely Fine (EF-40) condition so it is not an uncirculated coin. There is some minor damage on the rim of the coin below the liberty head bust and the coin has a "pebbled" appearance indicating it was once worn as jewelry or put in a key chain or watch fob. There is also an upside-down "893" scratched into the reverse of the coin above the wreath. The "S" mint mark is highly unusual in that it was hand-cut into the die of the coin after the die arrived in San Francisco. Usually mint marks on coin dies are struck using punches.
This coin is now in the collection of Louis Eliasberg. He purchased the coin in 1946 for $11500 from the Stack's and Celina Coin Company. This 1870-S three dollar gold coin is now worth nearly $6 Million! (Source of example image is courtesy of Bowers and Merena Auctions.)
MELT VALUE: $180.84
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