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November 02 , 2015


Gem 1854 Indian Princess $3 Gold PCGS MS66+. - $34,950.
Click on Coin Image to enlarge

Gem Satin Surfaces. 1st year of issue. This Gem 1854 Three Dollar Gold piece has a sharp strike and full mint luster. Full details are on the tips of the feathers in the headdress, the hair below the LIBERTY band, the central numerals of the date, and the ribbon knot. The surfaces are original and clean with no individual distractions of note.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

James Longacre designed the coin using the Indian Princess for his main device. He had to create a motif for the three dollar gold coin that would be distinctly different from the quarter and half eagle coronet designs. The design, similar to his gold dollar Large Head, shows a head of Liberty facing left in profile wearing a stylized headdress. Inscribed on the headband is LIBERTY. She is surrounded by the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. In using the Indian Princess design, Longacre felt that he was creating something that was uniquely American rather than an adoption from the classics.

The reverse of the piece shows an open wreath of corn, cotton, wheat, and tobacco tied at the bottom with a bow. The denomination 3 appears at the top center of the wreath, with DOLLARS and the date below within the wreath. Longacre liked the wreath design so much that he adopted it for use on the small cent of 1856.

In 1851 a law was passed that authorized a three-cent piece and also made the postage rate three cents. Two years later a new law was passed authorizing a light weight silver three-cent coin and a three-dollar gold coin. Evidently lawmakers believed that the gold coin would be useful to buy rolls of three-cent coins and sheets of stamps. Its closeness to the quarter eagle, which was widely used, made the denomination somewhat illogical, and the public proved indifferent to them.

In 1854 the first and largest mintage was produced. Many were saved as souvenirs. Others briefly circulated and ended up being used for jewelry. Only 1854 had smaller letters in DOLLARS.

James Barton Longacre was born in Pennsylvania in 1794. When he finished his apprenticeship in Philadelphia as a bookseller and a banknote engraver, he worked on his own as an engraver of book illustrations and bank notes. His works included one on the signers of the Declaration of Independence and another on stage personalities. In 1830, Longacre began a series of biographies of famous men in the military and the political arena.

In 1834 the result of this series became the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans that was published in four volumes. Longacre and those who worked with him became famous because of this work. In 1844 Longacre came to work at the Mint. He was opposed by Franklin Peale, the Chief Coiner. Peale was probably responsible for some blundered dies that Longacre was criticized for making. Peal was involved in a private, illegal medal manufacturing business using Mint facilities.

He was concerned that this new political appointee would interfere with his business, and he resisted Longacre’s appointment as Chief Engraver. Finally in 1854, Peale was fired by President Franklin Pearce. Longacre flourished in his position and was responsible for creating many new designs including the Indian Head cent, the two-cent piece, the Shield nickel, the Liberty Head gold dollar, the Indian Princess gold dollar, the three-dollar gold piece, and the Liberty Head double eagle.


ADDITION NEW COINS ADDED - (Week of 11/02/2015)

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com

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