||1857-S $3 AU58 NGC. CAC. The survival of significant quantities of the 1857-S three dollar gold piece was not aided by its moderately low mintage of only 14,000 coins. Small denomination gold coins were in strong demand in California during the period, with the result that virtually this entire mintage was eventually dispersed in the channels of commerce. Today, the date is most often seen in the VF to XF grade range, and is seldom encountered in About Uncirculated; high-end AU examples are rare, and Mint State coins are exceedingly so, with only five such pieces reported by NGC and PCGS combined (8/14). The Smithsonian Institution contains two examples of this date, the finer of which is AU50, while the other grades Very Good, per Garrett and Guth. This nearly Uncirculated representative retains substantial luster beneath a blanket of original orange-gold patina. Traces of high-point friction preclude a Mint State grade, though the design elements are essentially complete. Smooth surfaces further heighten the appeal. Census: 10 in 58, 3 finer (8/14). Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $12925.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.