The Short-Lived $3 Indian Gold Coin

Posted by Derek Sawchenko on

The $3 Indian Princess Head came into existence after being authorized by the act of February 21, 1853, becoming the only $3 coin ever minted in the United States. The first of this coin series was struck in 1854, but it sadly never grew to popularity with the general public and saw very little circulation. The obverse of this coin features the design of James B. Longacre, depicting the head of an Indian Princess with her hair tightly curling over her neck. Her head is crowned with a circle of feathers, the band of which is inscribed with the word “Liberty.” The reverse features a wreath of tobacco, wheat, corn, and cotton. The date and the denomination are also found on the reverse of the coin. This coin was struck from 1854-1889, only 36 years, making it the shortest-lived of any denomination of gold coin in the United States. Although no one is entirely certain as to why this $3 coin was created, there are quite a few numismatists who believe that it was created to ease the purchase of 3-cent postage stamps that came in sheets of 100. These coins really only changed hands up until 1861 in the east and in the Midwest, after which they all but disappeared from circulation. Through the 1860s, fewer than 10,000 of these coins were struck annually.  It was in 1874 and 1878 that mintage for this coin increased quite significantly in anticipation of these coins going into broader circulation. That dream was short-lived as these coins were no longer minted after 1889, most of which were lightly circulated as best.  Although these coins did not see extensive day to day circulation, they have served great numismatic purposes as many collectors showed great interest in the 3 dollars piece and saved these coins. Numismatists love this coin because not only was it lightly circulated so it can be found in great condition but it was as stated previously the only $3 coin ever minted in the United States. In addition to that, this coins is the first in United States history to serve as a tribute to the first Native Americans. This coin is one of six in United States history that does not feature 13 stars to symbolize the original 13 colonies, making it an extremely unique piece to own. To find out how you can get your hands on this unique piece contact us at Certified Coin Consultants or call us at 516-218-2094. Want to talk face to face? Stop but our storefront in Rockville Centre located at 8 S. Village Avenue! We look forward to hearing from you!

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