The 3-cent silver, also known as the trime, fish scale, or 3-cent piece, was produced by the U.S. Mint from 1851 to 1872, with a proof coin minted in 1873. It comprised 75% silver and 25% copper, making it less likely to be melted down for its silver content. In 1851, Congress authorized the United States Mint to produce a 3-cent silver coin for a few reasons.

Firstly, the Post Office Act of March 3, 1851 postage rates were lowered from five cents to three cents. However, the large copper coins used to purchase postage stamps were expensive to produce. Hence, the 3-cent silver coin was proposed to replace copper coins for purchasing postage stamps.

Secondly, the coin was designed to be small and easy to handle. The coin has a diameter of 14 millimeters (0.55 inches) and a thickness of 0.6 millimeters (0.024 inches). It weighs 0.8 grams, making it lightweight and convenient to carry.

Lastly, the coin was originally made of 75% silver, 25% copper and weighs 0.8 grams. This composition made it resistant to being melted down for its silver content, reducing the risk of being used for other purposes.

  • Designer: James B. Longacre
  • Weight: 0.8 grams
  • Composition: .750 silver, .250 copper.
  • Diameter: 14 mm.
  • Plain edge
  • Coined at Philadelphia, New Orleans Mints.

eBay silver 3 cent

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