1884 Three Cent CN

Three cent coins comprised of a copper-nickel (CN) alloy were produced from 1865-1889. From those, the 1884 is the most difficult of the business strike dates to locate in the entire series. Of the paltry 1700 business strike mintage, only an estimated 150 examples survive today.(1)

There were only 1000 of the 1885 Three Cent CN business strike pieces produced, but those were saved in greater numbers. PCGS estimates 600 of them are extant.(2)

For the record, when we started doing our analysis in 2022, the 1885 barely missed out qualifying for the Key Date List of recommendations. When we updated value trends in 2024 for the three cent coins, the 1885 was elevated to the honor roll as well.

Demand for the 1884 from Three Cent CN specialists has consistently pushed prices higher for many decades, outpacing most United States collectible coins in terms of percentage increases.

Be sure not to confuse the 1884 business strike with the 1884 Proof. The 1884 proofs are far more abundant than the circulation issues of the same year and do not rise in value as quickly.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 150
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
PCGS Rarity Scale: 7.5
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
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Coin images by PCGS.