Coin Type Specifications
Region: US
Denomination: 3CN
Diameter: 17.9 (mm)
Coin Metal Composition:
Copper [75%] 1.455 (g)
Nickel [25%] 0.485 (g)
Total Mass: 1.94 (g)

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1865–1889 Three-cent nickel piece
Coin Type Name

US - 1865–1889 Three-cent nickel piece

Obscure Finds Coin Collection > US > Three Cent

This section of Obscure Finds Numismatic Collection is made up of coins from the US region and specializes in 1865–1889 Three-cent nickel piece coins from coin category Three Cent . If you are looking for coin facts, numismatic data or simple melt value composition of the US - 1865–1889 Three-cent nickel piece coin, you can find it here at Obscure Finds.

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Coin Type Coins
1865–1889 Three-cent nickel piece Coin Composition
Composition Totals From 2 Coins
Copper : 2.91 Grams
Nickel : 0.97 Grams
Total Mass : 3.88 Grams

Metal USD/Pound USD/Troy Ounce USD/Gram Grams/Coin USD/Coin
Copper $2.091 $0.143 $0.005 1.455 g $0.007
Nickel $4.494 $0.308 $0.010 0.485 g $0.005
Precious and Base Metal Melt Value For Each Coin: $0.012
Combined Precious and Base Metal Melt Value For 2 Coins: $0.023
- Precious Metal prices updated on 07-17-2024
2 Example Coins Found...


Coin Type Description
This information is compiled/referenced data from around the web. Linked references within.
Years Minted: 1865–1889
Mint Marks: NONE (P)
Denomination: 3CN
Obverse Design: Head of Liberty
Obverse Designer: James Barton Longacre
Reverse Design: Wreath surrounding Roman numeral III
Reverse Designer: James Barton Longacre
Three-cent nickel piece

The copper-nickel three-cent piece, often called a three-cent nickel piece or three-cent nickel, was designed by US Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre and struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1865 to 1889. It was initially popular, but its place in commerce was supplanted by the five-cent piece, or nickel.


Three Cent Nickel (United States)

Value: 0.03 US dollars
Mass: 1.94 g (29.9 gr)
Diameter: 17.9 mm (0.70 in)
Edge: plain
Composition: 75% Cu, 25% Ni
Design: Liberty Head
Designer: James Barton Longacre
Design Date: 1865
Design: Roman numeral III
Designer: James Barton Longacre
Design Date: 1865


Nickel Three Cents: 1865-1889

Quick Coinage Facts
Years Minted: 1865-1889
Mints: Philadelphia
Composition: 0.750 copper, 0.250 nickel
Diameter: 17.9 mm
Weight: 1.94 grams
Total Mintage: approx. 31,332,527
Edge: plain


Early years (1865–73)

The three-cent nickel piece was very popular when it entered circulation in mid-1865. More convenient than the larger two-cent bronze piece, it largely replaced that coin, starting the two-cent on its way to decreased popularity and abolition in 1873. The hard alloy, though, caused high levels of die breakage. Between 1865 and 1876, some 17 million three-cent pieces were used by the government to redeem the three-cent fractional currency notes.


Decline and end (1873–90)

On January 18, 1873, Philadelphia Mint Chief Coiner A. Loudon Snowden formally complained to Pollock that on the new year's coins, the digit "3" too closely resembled an "8". Pollock ordered Chief Engraver William Barber (Longacre had died in office on January 1, 1869) to redo the logotypes for the date. Thus, most denominations of American coinage dated 1873, including the three-cent nickel piece, have varieties: the Close (or Closed) 3 from early in the year, and the Open 3 from after Barber made his modifications. A total of 390,000 Closed 3 and 783,000 Open 3 of the three-cent nickel were minted.


3 Cents "Three Cent Nickel"

KM# 95
Country United States
Years 1865-1889
Value 3 Cents (0.03 USD)
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 1.94 g
Diameter 17.9 mm
Engraver James Barton Longacre
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓

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Precious Metal prices on this page were last updated on 07-17-2024
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Base Metals Last Updated: 09-01-2016