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$3.00 Gold Indian Princess – 1854 – 1889

Learn About James B Longacre and the $3 Gold Indian Princess

The Three Dollar Gold piece was designed by Chief Engraver of the US Mint James B. Longacre. Authorized by the Act of Congress of February 21, 1853, the Act authorized the production of Three Dollar coins to compete in international trade.

Longacre’s coin depicted an allegorical presentation of Miss Liberty, facing left, wearing a Native American headdress. Around Miss Liberty would be the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” The reverse of the coin would feature an agricultural wreath (Wheat, corn, cotton and tobacco) with the denomination inside “3 DOLLARS” on two lines and below the denomination would be the DATE.

(James B. Longacre’s Three Dollar Gold coin – Obverse [left] – Reverse [right].)

The Philadelphia Mint struck 138,618 coins that initial year (1854) while Dahlonega struck a minuscule 1,120 coins and the New Orleans mint struck 24,000 pieces. Dies were sent to the Charlotte Mint but they were not used for some inexplicable reason. Although the three southern mints had access to the dies, no additional coins were struck by them. The San Francisco Mint fared only marginally better as it struck 6,600 coins with an S mintmark in 1855, 34,500 coins in 1856, 14,000 coins in 1857, 7,000 coins in 1860 and only ONE coin is known to have been struck in 1870!

The main mint in Philadelphia, after its initial striking of over one hundred thousand coins in 1854, curtailed production considerably and quickly. 1856 had 26,010 coins struck, 1857 had 20,891 minted, 1858 fell off to 2,133 coins, 1859 upped production to 15,558 pieces and 1869 minted only 7,036 coins. Between 1860 and 1870, Philadelphia production dropped to less than 10,000 pieces annually. The coins were not in demand in the urban East and circulated little in the West, except some in California, where all gold coins were scarce and welcomed. The American public thought it too close in size and value to the much more well-established $2.50 Dollar Quarter Eagle, so the coin was actively shunned.

Between the 1870s and 1889, the last year of striking, only two years saw more than 6,000 coins struck with 41,800 coins dated 1874 and 82,304 coins that were dated 1878. These are the two “common years” but none are actually common as even these two dates were melted in quantity by the Mint when the coins were redeemed. 1881, 1883 and 1885 each saw mintages of less than one thousand coins making them scarcer dates for today’s collectors.

DateTypeMintageVery Fine ValueUnc Value
1854Indian Princess138,618$850$3,000
1854-DIndian Princess1,120$20,000$125,000
1854-OIndian Princess24,000$2,000$120,000
1855Indian Princess50,555$1,000$4,000
1855-S to 1864Indian Princess34,500 to 2,630$1,250$20,000
1857Indian Princess20,891$900$4,000
1865Indian Princess1,140$3,000$35,000
1866 to 1872Indian Princess4,850 to 1,300$1,200$12,500
1873 Open 3Indian PrincessUnknown$17,500$40,000
1873 Close 3Indian PrincessUnknown$5,500$60,000
1874 to 1889Indian Princess82,304 to 2,300$1,000$4,000
1877Indian Princess1,468$5,000$50,000
1881Indian Princess500$3,000$25,000

Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of $3 Gold Indian Princess Coins (1854-1889).

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