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US 3cent Coin, dated "1853"

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Product Description

Over the years I have ended up with coins that were found along with other artifacts on various Civil War sites, mainly in the Virginia area. This one is a United States three-cent piece. It was the smallest of the US silver coins, often called a trime, its creation was driven by the postage rates of the time. In 1851 the U.S. Congress reduced the postage rated for a one page letter to 3 cents. But there was a problem; there were no widely circulating monies in denominations less than five cents. 

Copper cent and half cent coins were minted, but these coins were unpopular with the public and circulation was for the most part limited to major eastern cities. This meant the lowest value coin most people had was the five cent coin. The solution was to mint a silver coin exactly matching the postage cost. The silver three cent 'trime' was the first U.S. coin with a face value that exceeded its metal value. Also, the coin was only legal tender for sums up to 30 cents.

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