1870-S Indian Princess Head Gold $3

By: Mobin

Originally meant for the SF Mint cornerstone, this sole 1870-S example surfaced at auction in 1911, graded EF-40 with light wear.

Extremely Rare

It features a classic Liberty head obverse and ornate wreath reverse. Struck in 90% gold, it has a diameter of 20.5 mm & weighs 5 grams.

Design & Details

The coin bears odd scratches, evidence it was once used as jewelry. Its manually added "S" mintmark is also highly unusual.

Unique Features  

Purchased for $11,500 in 1946, this one-of-a-kind rarity last sold for nearly $6 million given its legendary status.  

Value & History

While 1870-S $3 gold coins were likely test pieces, this sole example fittingly survived to become an iconic US numismatic treasure.


This 1882 legend resurfaces at major sales, greeted by fanfare among gold aficionados and demand from wealthy collectors.

Auction Appearances

Undoubtedly the world's most valuable $3 gold issue, the fabulously rare 1870-S $3 defines numismatic royalty.

Pinnacle Rarity

Extremely Rare 1795 Jefferson Head Cent