Rare Coin University

$3 Gold Princess 1854-1889

Click here to buy Gold CoinsThis is truly one of the most unusual gold coins ever minted in America.  Mint engraver James B. Longacre puzzled long and hard over an appropriate design for the $3.00 gold coin ordered by Congress in February, 1853.

The $3 Indian Princess was minted to facilitate 100 count purchases of the new 3 cent Post Office stamps.  Public demand was far less than expected, and over the next 35 years, a mere 525,000 total business strikes were ever minted.

Today, the $3 Gold Indian Princess is one of the rarest and most sought-after of all designs in U.S. coinage.

From the Gold Fields of California
Plentiful gold from California seemed to motivate the minting of this unusual $3 coin.  The $2.50 Liberty Quarter eagles were in ample circulation and this piece, worth a mere 50 more, created distinct problems for Longacre.  The new coin would have to be about the same size and weight as the quarter eagle, but would have to be quite distinctive to avoid confusion.

The Famed Indian Princess
He solved the difficulties brilliantly by designing a head of Liberty with a diadem of feathers, like an Indian princess, for the obverse.  On the reverse he created a circular wreath of corn, tobacco, cotton and wheat with the value and date in the center.  He circled the whole design with a reeded edge.

A Distinctly Unusual Gold Coin
The $3.00 denomination is unique in American coinage.  It was issued from mints at Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Dahlonega, the latter being discontinued in 1861, when Dahlonega fell into the hands of Confederate soldiers.  In all, the coin was minted for 35 years, but in relatively small quantities, so uncirculated specimens are considered extremely rare.

Be sure to add this unique coin to your collection anytime you can.  Both for its beautiful design and as a valuable investment.  We
recommend calling Austin Rare Coins and speaking with a Rare Coin Specialist for availability.  Call seven days a week at 1-800-928-6468.

Rare $1.00 Gold Coinage 1849-1889
The U.S. Mint struck the first $1 (Type I) gold pieces from 1849 through 1854 during the California Gold Rush Days. These were minted at Philadelphia and the Pre-Civil War Southern Mints of New Orleans, Charlotte, and Dahlonega. From 1854 to 1856, the "Small Head" Type II Indian design was introduced. Finally, the Type III version with a larger head was minted from 1856 through 1889 at the Philadelphia Mint.

$1 Liberty Type I 1849-1854
Designer: James B. Longacre
Actual Diameter 13 mm
.04837 troy oz. Pure Gold


$1 Indian Type II 1854-1856
Designer: James B. Longacre
Actual Diameter 15 mm
.04837 troy oz. Pure Gold


$1 Indian Type III 1856-1889
Designer: James B. Longacre
Actual Diameter 15 mm
.04837 troy oz. Pure Gold