1871 $3.00 NGC AU58

This is one of my favorite "sleeper" dates in a series that, as of the end of 2011, offers as much value on a per coin basis as any group of gold coins in all of American numismatics. This bright, highly lustrous slider has the naked-eye look of an MS61 to MS62 piece but there is just the slightest touch of rub on the high spots. The surfaces are very clean and the eye appeal is very high for the date and grade. Only 1,300 business strikes were made and, unlike the low mintage Threes of the 1880's, this date was not hoarded by contemporary collectors and dealers. At around double the price of a common date issue like an 1854, 1874 or 1878, this is a remarkable value for the savvy collector.