Three Cent Silver, Three Outlines to Star Type, 1854-1858

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The above images are examples of the 1858 Business Strike and 1858 Proof Strike issues. Only 300 Proofs were believed to be originally minted.


Designed by: James Barton Longacre
Issued Date: 1854-1858
Composition: 0.900 part silver, 0.100 part copper
Diameter: 14 mm
Weight: 11.57 grains (.75 gram)
Edge: Plain
Total Business Strike mintage: 4,914,000
Total Proof Strike mintage: Fewer than 300

In an effort to facilitate the “striking up” of design details, the obverse motif of the silver three-cent piece was modified in 1854 by the addition of three outlines to the star. The result was just the opposite of that intended, and pieces of the 1854-1858 years were more difficult to produce than ever. Examples seen today are nearly always weakly struck around the borders and in certain other areas as well. Indeed, the 1854-1858 Silver Three-Cent piece is the most poorly struck of any design type of the mid 19th century. Among advanced collectors, fully struck Type 2 trimes are highly coveted.

There will be no difficulty acquiring an example of this issue in any grade desired from Good through Extremely Fine. AU coins are scarce, and Uncirculated pieces are rare. Superb Uncirculated pieces are very rare. Sharply struck coins are seldom met with. For all practical purposes, the numismatist should be satisfied with an example which shows some lightness of impression, particularly around the borders. The year 1855 is considered to be the scarcest in the range and, curiously, of the five dates of this type, the 1855 is the single date which is occasionally, very occasionally, seen with some semblance of sharp striking.


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