This obverse is very similar to the previous Type 2 Gold Dollar with the most noticeable change being the size of Liberty’s slightly modified portrait, which is much larger on this design version. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has been moved a bit closer to the edge of the coin. The reverse has stayed very much the same, with some minor changes in the size of the lettering and the location of the wreath.
To solve the striking problems of the Type 2 Dollar, this coin has a lower relief, and changes in the locations of the devices. Unlike the Type 2 Gold Dollar, this version does not have the obverse legend directly opposite the wreath found on the reverse. Both of these changes proved to be successful, and the design remained the same until the denomination ended in 1889.
In 1856 the Mint produced over 1.7 million Type 3 Gold Dollars to replace the two previous Types that had been recalled. Although the branch Mints did not produce large quantities, Philadelphia continued large mintages until 1862. After 1862 small mintages were the order to the day. As this was during the Civil War, gold coins were being hoarded, and the Mint might produce would never enter circulation. Those minted were primarily used to pay certain bondholders and overseas creditors who would accept nothing but gold coins. This has worked out well for today’s collector, as even though relatively few were minted, it is easy to find high-grade Type 3 gold Dollars, because when issued they generally went straight into bank vaults rather than the normal circulating business channels.
Coins were minted in Philadelphia, Dahlonega, Charlotte and San Francisco, all with reeded edges. This issue is usually collected as a Type, with collectors acquiring one high-grade example.
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