The three dollar gold coin was authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853. It was then first minted in 1854 but the coin never reached popularity with the public and therefore wasn't in circulation as much. The Indian Princess Head three-dollar piece was a United States coin produced from 1854 to 1889. Its value was intended to tie in with the postal system because at that period of time, a first class postage stamp was worth 3¢, and such stamps were often sold in sheets of one hundred stamps. Therefore, the three-dollar piece was exactly enough money to purchase a sheet of stamps. The Treasury Department also withdrew its fractional currency issues starting in the late 1870's, of which there was a 3¢ denomination. A $3 gold coin would have helped facilitate this for those desiring gold in exchange for their 3¢ coins. Despite these potential uses, the coin was minted in small quantities.
$3 Indian Head Princess for Sale
1867 Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - NGC AU - Rare Date Coin
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1888 INDIAN PRINCESS $3 PCGS PR 64
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1854-O Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - NGC XF Details (EF) - Nice Luster!
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1854 Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - NGC XF Details - Rare Certified Coin
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1856-S Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - NGC AU Details - Rare Certified Coin
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1856 INDIAN PRINCESS HEAD THREE DOLLAR GOLD PIECE AU-53
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1855 Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - NGC XF Details - Rare Certified Coin
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1859 Three Dollar Indian Gold Piece $3 - PCGS Genuine - AU Details - Rare Coin!
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$3 Indian Princess Head Design
Designed by James B. Longacre. The obverse depicts a representation of LIBERTY wearing a headdress of an Indian princess and the reverse a wreath of corn, cotton, and tobacco. The three-dollar piece was .900 gold and .100 copper for a total weight of 5.015 grams. It had a diameter of 20.5 mm with a reeded edge. The coin weighs 77.4 grains, and was struck in .900 fine gold. In the year 1854 only, the word DOLLARS is in much smaller letters than in later years.
The 1856 Proof has DOLLARS in large letters cut over the same word in small letters. Restrikes of some years were made, particularly Proofs of 1865 and 1873. Quantities were minted in Philadelphia each year of production, as well as in Dahlonega, New Orleans, and San Francisco in certain years. Proofs were officially recorded as being minted at Philadelphia from 1859 to 1889, and only proofs were minted in 1875 and 1876. Proofs of dates prior to 1859 are also known, including extremely rare branch-mint proofs. The total quantity of coins minted each year ranges from 2 for the 1870-S (of which only one has been confirmed to collectors) to 138,618 for the 1854.
Today, any specimen has a value of at least several hundred dollars, and the most valuable is the unique 1870-S, currently (2007) valued at $4,000,000 in AU-50. Only a few dates in this series can be considered common (1854, 1874, 1878) and the majority of the dates in this series have mintages below 10,000 coins. Highlights of the series include the unique 1870-S Three-Dollar Gold Piece, the Proof-only 1875 and 1876, and the elusive 1854-D (the only Three-Dollar Gold Piece struck at the Dahlonega, Georgia Mint.