Three Cent Piece 1865

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Added by Drew Howard
In personal collections 4
General Description Composition:75% Cu, 25% Ni
The three cent coin has an unusual history. It was proposed in 1851 both as a result of the decrease in postage rates from five cents to three and to answer the need for a small-denomination, easy-to-handle coin.
The three cent nickel was never intended as a permanent issue, only as stopgap measure until the wartime hoarding ceased. However, production of the coin continued until 1889, 16 years after the three cent silver was discontinued. One reason often given for the discontinuation of the three cent nickel piece in 1889 is that this coin and the dime (10 cent silver coin) were identical in diameter, and hence caused confusion upon the introduction of mechanical vending machines. Another factor may have been that in 1883 the letter postage rate dropped to 2 cents, thus removing the justification for this coin.
The three cent nickel was only minted in Philadelphia and, except for a larger date on the 1889 pieces, had no design differences throughout its run. Over the course of the series mintage declined, and some of the dates are scarce. But, with an 1865 mintage of over eleven million, a type piece can be inexpensively obtained.
Obv. Description Liberty Head
Rev. Description Roman numeral III
Catalog code KM#95
Mintage 11,382,000
Diameter 17.90 mm
Weight 1.9400 g
Material Copper-Nickel
Mint United States of America - Philadelphia (P)
Edge Type plain
Designer James Barton Longacre
Catalog prices
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F $17.50   VF $22.50   XF $37.50   UNC $100.00  



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