1881 $3 PCGS PR65+ Cameo

$78,000.00 USD

The 1881 is an especially popular date in the series of three-dollar gold pieces, obviously stemming from its minuscule business strike production of just 500 coins. The distribution of proofs was actually stepped-up to a new high of 54 pieces in 1881 and a decent percentage remains today, perhaps numbering as high as 30-35 coins.

The accepted number of proofs struck and delivered has varied considerably over the years, as pointed out in the Bowers-Winter series reference. The official delivery was recorded as 40 complete gold proof sets, all of which were delivered on February 9, plus 20 gold dollars and 10 three dollar gold pieces. These extra 10 three dollar pieces were delivered on March 29. However, Walter Breen read the records of Chief Coiner Archibald Louden Snowden, where he recorded the number to actually be 54 proofs, the number that has remained as the official and accepted proof mintage.

Paul Taglione once wrote (1986): 1881 Proofs rank amongst the best preserved of the series and there are some really exceptional specimens of this date ... I would dare claim that it is distinctly possible (likely?) that there are more high quality Proofs known than counterpart business strikes." This remains true strictly in terms of high-grade populations, but it misrepresents the availability of the 1881 proof overall.