The 1855-S Proof Three Dollar Gold Piece (Buy on eBay) is one of the few branch mint proof coins with an undisputed status as such. Although uncustomary, during its first two years of operations the San Francisco Mint struck a small number of specially minted proof coins across a range of denominations.
The existence of this issue first came to light as a consignment within Paramount’s Auction ’84, followed by a more public appearance at the 1984 ANA Convention. The coin would change hands multiple times in the following years, sometimes through private sale and other times at auction. The coin most recently appeared at auction in August 2011 certified by NGC as PR-64 Cameo and realized an astounding $1,322,500.
Although a second example of this rare branch mint proof has been rumored, only one coin is positively known to exist.
- Designer: James B. Longacre
- Composition: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
- Weight: 5.015 grams
- Diameter: 20.5 mm
- Edge: Reeded