The Nickel Three Cent Pieces were produced from 1865 to 1889, with all issues struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The nickel version of the three cent denomination had been introduced due to the hoarding of the silver counterpart during the years of the American Civil War.
The first year of series marked the highest mintage at 11,382,000 pieces. The mintage level would experience a gradual decline in the following years, although production levels remained above one million pieces until 1870. By 1877, the use of the denomination within commerce had declined to such an extent that additional circulation strikes were not necessary. As a result, the coins were struck in proof format only from 1877 to 1878.
After this point, production levels for circulation strikes would number in the low thousands with the exception of a spike in production in 1881 to more than a million pieces. The 1885 Nickel Three Cent Piece marked the mintage low for a circulation strike of the series at just 1,000 pieces.
|1873, Close 3||390,000|
|1873, Open 3||783,000|