US Silver 3 cent pieces are a type of coin that was minted by the United States government between 1851 and 1873. These coins were made of 75% silver and 25% copper, and were created to address a shortage of small denomination coins in circulation at the time.
The history of the US Silver 3 cent piece begins in the mid-19th century, when the value of silver relative to gold began to decline. This led to a shortage of silver coins in circulation, particularly smaller denominations such as the 3 cent piece. In response, the US government authorized the creation of the Silver 3 cent piece in 1851, with the hope that it would help alleviate the shortage of small denomination coins.
The first US Silver 3 cent pieces were minted in 1851 and featured a design known as the “trime.” These coins were smaller and thinner than most other coins in circulation at the time, and featured a star design on the obverse side, with the denomination “3 CENTS” inscribed within the star. The reverse side featured a Roman numeral III with a wreath surrounding it.
In 1854, the design of the US Silver 3 cent piece was changed to feature a more familiar image of Lady Liberty on the obverse side. This new design featured Lady Liberty wearing a headband inscribed with the word “LIBERTY,” and holding a pole with a cap on top. The reverse side of the coin featured a wreath encircling the Roman numeral III.
Over the years, the US Silver 3 cent piece underwent several design changes and modifications, including the addition of a “C” to indicate the coin was made of copper and silver, and a switch to a nickel alloy during the Civil War to conserve silver for more important uses.
The US Silver 3 cent piece was eventually discontinued in 1873 due to changes in the country’s coinage laws and the fact that other small denomination coins were becoming more prevalent in circulation. Today, these coins are considered to be rare and highly collectible, with their historical significance and unique designs making them prized possessions for coin collectors around the world.