A very peculiar, feathery headdress is atop Liberty's head on this Type 3 disc's obverse. That headwear has been the cause of much confusion; however, the design itself stayed without alterations on the "1 DOLLAR" gold coin from 1856 right through to 1889. The design was formed at the hands of James B. Longacre. He was Chief Engraver at the national Mint from 1844 until his 1869 death. During that time, however, he had to revise the coin itself not once, but twice - hence the different "Type 1," "Type 2" and "Type 3" designs.
The first time that Longacre revamped the coin, it was due to complaints that the originally 12.7mm-diameter disc was too small in size. The Type 1 iteration could be too readily misplaced; this posed a serious risk at a time when its face value represented daily pay for many Americans. Longacre seemingly rectified the size dilemma by producing a noticeably broader replacement coin measuring 14.3mm on the diameter. However, this coin, the Type 2 form, was difficult to properly strike due to the intricacy of the high-relief design. It wasn't uncommon for Type 2 pieces to turn illegible and be returned to the Philadelphia Mint where they would be coined over again.
With the aim of solving the newly arisen problem, Longacre enlarged Liberty's head and moved the surrounding lettering reading "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," further to the reed-lined rim. The metal flow was appreciably enhanced, while the design was also noticeably sharper. So significant were these improvements that there were assumptions that the reverse had been changed, too. However, the Type 3 actually took its predecessor's reverse look, where "1 DOLLAR" appears in the middle of a closed wreath, which itself is rich in symbolism.
The wreath is more detailed than the one on the Type 1's reverse. It is composed of corn, wheat, cotton and tobacco - notable produce of both the North and South. The distinction between those two is especially worth acknowledging because the American Civil War took hold in the 1860s. This dispute concerning slaves' rights led to the war's outbreak in 1861. While the anti-slavery U.S. states were called the North, the pro-slavery Confederate States of America, former U.S. states which had broken away, were known as the South. The war ended with a North victory in 1865.
By the time the Type 3 series was discontinued, the Gay Nineties was about to begin. Ironically, considering the name, there was actually little economic success for the U.S. during that decade. There was a particularly deep depression that lasted from 1893 to 1896. Type 3 coins' availability can fluctuate depending on the issue year. High-quality condition 1862- and 1874-dated coins tend to be available to a decent degree today, as do such coins from many 1860s years. Coins bought via this listing will show years that are often on Type 3 pieces obtained today.
Each 1.672g-mass Type 3 coin will be 90 percent gold weighing, in itself, 0.04837 troy ounces. Copper is the sole other metal in each piece, the condition of which will satisfy the MS65 standard. MS65 is the code representing the Sheldon Coin Grading Scale's very high Mint State 65 grade.
Features of the Common Date $1 Gold Princess Type 3 MS65: Possibility of unsightly marks Diameter of 0.563 inches Liberty look inspired by Crouching Venus sculpture