||1863 $3 MS66 NGC. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Heavy die polishing lines appear in abundance on the obverse of this Premium Gem 1863 three dollar gold piece, an effect that was created at the Mint by zealous personnel. These raised die polishing lines must not be confused with hairlines or any other post-Mint impairments. In fact, the surfaces are remarkably free of contact marks or ticks of any importance. The strike is unusually bold, showing a great wealth of detail in Liberty's hair, the feathers in the headdress, the details in the agricultural wreath on the reverse, and the venation on the lower leaves. Only the bowknot shows the slightest hint of strike softness. Greenish-gold field color contrasts nicely against the well-frosted khaki-gold devices. The mintage of the 1863 three dollar gold was 5,000 circulation strikes, meager for most series but typical for the low-mintage three dollar coins. The earlier dates, such as this piece dating not only from the 1860s but also the mid-Civil War era, were saved in much smaller numbers than the later issues from the 1880s. NGC reports five submissions in MS66 with four finer, including possible duplicates. Bowers estimates in his series reference that only 30 to 40 examples of the date survive in all Mint State grades. However, he also notes that among three dollar gold coins from the 1860s, "gems of 1863, while rare in an absolute sense, appear more often than do those of any other year." The present Premium Gem thus marks a dual opportunity to obtain a series rarity in remarkably high grade. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $90.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $49937.50. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.