$3 Three Dollar Gold Coin
$3 Indian Head Princess Gold Coin
The Three Dollar Gold piece was designed by Chief Engraver of the US Mint James B. Longacre. Authorized by the Act of Congress of February 21, 1853, the Act authorized the production of Three Dollar coin to compete in international trade.
Longacre’s coin depicted a representation of Miss Liberty, facing left, wearing a Native American headdress. Around Miss Liberty would be the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” The reverse of the coin would feature an agricultural wreath (of wheat, corn, cotton, and tobacco) with the denomination inside “3 DOLLARS” on two lines and below the denomination would be the DATE.
The inaugural year of 1854 saw the Philadelphia Mint struck 138,618 coins, Dahlonega strike 1,120 coins and the New Orleans mint struck 24,000 pieces. Although the three southern mints had access to the dies, no additional coins were struck by them.
Between 1860 and 1870, Philadelphia production dropped to less than 10,000 pieces annually. The coins were not in demand in the urban East and circulated little in the West, except some in California, where all gold coins were scarce and welcomed. The coins were struck through 1889.