Yo, can you spare a trime? These tiny three-cent silver piece aren’t often the coins that make numismatic headlines, but there’s one specimen that recently traded worthy of any press it can get. Three-cent silver coins, which were struck from 1851 through 1873 and with their 75% silver composition weigh just .8 grams and measure 14 millimeters in diameter (yes, much smaller and lighter than a dime!), are often challenging to find in top shape today.
Their diminutive size and convenient face value suitable to trade for first-class postage stamps in their day meant few were actively saved or collected by numismatists. Even today, the area of trime collecting is often considered highly niche, though there is a small but highly dedicated segment of coin collectors who spend a lifetime studying and building sets of three-cent silvers.
One of the most beautiful trimes ever to cross the auction block did so at the Legend Rare Coin Auctions Regency 42 event, which transpired in December 2020. The trime in question is a stunning prooflike dated 1863 with wicked gorgeous surfaces. Graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) MS67+PL, it is the finest certified example of the date and the single-finest prooflike specimen of any date in the series. It was originally estimated to fetch $16,500 to $18,500 in the auction, but it ultimately commanded a princely sum of $27,025!
*Images are courtesy of Legend Rare Coin Auctions.