Like the previous year, only proofs were minted in 1876, although the mintage appears to be a little bit higher, as survivors are not as scarce as the legendary 1875. This, however, is only relative as only a couple of dozen pieces are known to have survived.
Most surviving examples of the 1876 Proof Three Dollar Gold Piece display cameo or deep cameo surfaces and eye appeal is usually excellent. Coins of this issue have been graded as high as Proof 67. An example graded NGC PF66 Cameo with CAC verification sold for $161,000 at auction in January 2012.
By the late 1880s, when it was apparent that the denomination would be discontinued, interest from collectors soared and it was soon realized that the 1875 and 1876 were the true rarities within the series.