The denominations (face values) of coins are set by the needs of
business and the prices of goods. This sometimes leads the government
to make some denomination to fulfill a need that disappears as prices
change. The Three Cent pieces are the most challenging of these
obsolete denominations because they were made in two
types (each a different metal) and over many years but were never
made in huge quantities. In addition there are quite a few varieties
a serious collector will want to pursue for his collection. These are
difficult to specialize in but it can be very rewarding. The two
major types are the Silver Three-Cent Pieces (1851-1873 and made from
silver) and the Nickel Three-Cent Pieces (1865-89 and made from
Good reference works for those with more interest in these types of coins are The Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins by Walter Breen or a specialized text such as The Authoritative Reference on Three Cent Nickels by Kevin Flynn and Edward Fletcher.
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