Unique 1889 Indian Head
Three Dollar Copper
issue obverse and reverse design for the
dollar gold piece. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. The first notice of this pattern
appeared in Numismatic News, November 26, 1985.
This is an attractive Choice proof with rich
chocolate-brown and olive color, graced by pale
blue toning. Both sides have reflective and
partially mirrored fields.
This pattern is believed to be unique and first
appeared for sale in the 1987 ANA auction. It is
also the only pattern issue produced in 1889, to
the best of our knowledge. It is clearly an
intentional pattern and not a mint error.
The weight is 76.5 grains (per the 1987 ANA
catalog), almost twice the weight of a
contemporary cent planchet of that time period.
The cataloger of its 1987 appearance wrote: “The
proof finish of the coin, and the fact that it
was carefully struck on a medal press, with
properly adjusted dies so as to produce a high
wire edge, precludes the possibility of its
being struck in error on a bronze planchet
intended for a foreign coin or for some other
It is also too well made to be a die trial or
test piece, thus its intent is not specifically
known, but may have been made in response to a
special request by a favored collector-customer
of the U.S. Mint.
Ex: Bowers and Merena (8/1987), lot 1505;
Superior (10/1990). From The Jones Beach
This item sold at Heritage’s 2007 January
Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #422 as
Lot 1627 and realized $29,900