Look at the beautiful coin in our picture. It comes from one of our favorite eBay sellers, EternityCoin, where it is currently at auction with a starting bid of $1900 US dollars and a 'buy it now' price of $6200. That shows how valuable these $3 gold pieces can be, especially when in gorgeous condition, like the one from EternityCoin.
A few people know about America's early gold coinage, especially the quarter eagle ($2.50), half eagle ($5.00), eagle ($10.00), and double eagle ($20.00) denominations. But hardly anyone knows about the $3 and $4 gold piece denominations. They are quite rare.
The $3 gold piece contains 0.145 troy ounces of gold, so that establishes the 'starting point' for value. Find the curret value of gold per troy ounce (at, for instance, kitco.com), then multiply by 0.145. At, say, $1500 per ounce, that would be 1500 x 0.145 = $217. Be sure to look up the gold price. It changes every day.
But the value of $3 gold pieces is far more than the base gold value. The extra value is due to collector demand. Typical catalog values for $3 gold pieces are:
average circulated: $900
well preserved: $2000
fully uncirculated: $3500
If you have a $3 gold piece, take it to a knowledgeable collector or a coin dealer for an in-person appraisal.
There are wide swings in value depending on specific dates. Check the special dates below, then apply the concepts on our Terminology page to get ballpark values for buying and selling these coins.
All values on CoinQuest are very rough estimates, but these $3 gold piece values are *really* rough. The actual value of a specific coin will vary greatly from our numbers.
Special dates for $3 gold pieces:
1854D: $27500 in well preserved condition (must have D mint mark, not O mint mark)
1858: $3000 well preserved
1865: $3500 well preserved
1873: $7500 well preserved
1877: $6000 well preserved
1881: $4500 well preserved
If you have one of these coins, you should consider having it authenticated, graded, and encapsulated by one of the following services: PCGS, NGC, ICG, ANACS. Look them up on the Internet. Do not use other services. A discussion of counterfeits appears on this page.
NEVER CLEAN A COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE.