1885 Three Cent CN

As the American civil war got underway in 1861, gold and silver coinage quickly disappeared from circulation in the East and Midwestern states. The silver three cent “trime” did not escape this fate.(1)

Intended as a replacement for the silver trime, the copper-nickel (CN) Three Cent coin was introduced in 1865 and remained in production until 1889.

By the mid-1870s, the Three Cent CN coin fell out of favor with the public, as reflected by smaller mintages. The business strike issues of 1884 and 1885 were the lowest of the entire series, with just 1700 and 1000 examples struck, respectively.

PCGS estimates of these two rarities, the 1884 has the fewest surviving examples, but the 1885 is very elusive as well and has an exceptionally good value trend record (see chart below) to prove it.(2)(3)

Proof examples of the 1884 and 1885 are easier to find, as collector demand from that era prompted the Mint to strike proofs in appreciable quantities.(4)

As long as there are fans of this oddball denomination coin (a sure bet), the scarce supply of the 1885 Three Cent CN will always be under pressure.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 600
? 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: 5.8
? 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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1884 Three cent copper nickel images key date Three cent CN
Trendline Avg = 13.24 GOOD
Last updated 2-8-24
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1. Stacks Bowers Galleries.  1865 Nickel Three-Cent Piece. PF-67 Ultra Cameo.  Aug 2021 Auction.

2. PCGS.  1884 3CN (Regular Strike).

3. PCGS.  1885 3CN (Regular Strike).

4. Stacks Bowers Galleries.  1885 Nickel Three-Cent Piece. MS-65.  Mar 2019 Auction.

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Coin images by PCGS.