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Find Out Why Coin Collectors Love Three Cent Nickels

Apr 15, 2008
Shortly after the United States Civil War there were two different three cent pieces in circulation. You had silver three cent pieces and nickel three cent pieces. And during this post Civil War period, these three cent pieces were actually from silver and nickel. This article focuses on the three cent nickel.

Today in the United States we do not have many different kinds of coins in circulation. We have pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins. But, previously in American history there were many more different denomination of coins in circulation. One of these coins were nickel three-cent pieces.

In 1865, however, the US Mint started to produce nickel versions of the three cent piece. These nickel three-cent pieces were 75% cooper and 25% nickel. During the 1880s very few of these nickel three-cent pieces were produced. And in 1889, the three-cent piece was discontinued.

Doesn't it seem wierd that the US Mint produced three cent pieces? Why did the United States Mint mint these us coins? The US Mint started producing the three cent piece in 1851. At first only the silver three-cent piece was produced. The silver three cent pieces were very thin coins which were produced solely to help make it easier to purchase postage stamps. The US postage stamp in 1851 was, you guessed it, 3 cents. Before 1851, these postage stamps were five cents, but the US government reduced the price to three cents.

Today the three-cent pieces are highly valued by US coin collectors and coin collectors around the globe. The three cent pieces in mint condition or in proof condition are worth the most money. During most of the production years of the three-cent piece, the Mint only minted 1,000 or less of these coins per year. Since there were so few of these coins minted, they are very rare making them highly sought after coin collectibles. There nickel three-cent pieces graded at proof-66 are at around $850.

Why are three cent nickels popular buys for coin collectors? Since only 1,000 or less of these coins were minted from 1851 through 1889, the three cent coins are very rare. Scarcity is what drives coin values. If you are trying to determine what a coin is worth, scarcity or rarity is the prime factor. In addition, the history of the three cent coin makes these coins popular too.

With the proof-66 three cent nickel going for roughly $850 due to the rarity of these nickel three cent pieces these are great buys for any us coins collector.
About the Author
Find out more about three cent nickels at US gold coins. US Gold Coins has great information about three cent nickels and the gold coin dollar.
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