The United States three cent coin was minted from 1851 until 1877. The coin was produced in 2 types, a silver coin, and a nickel coin. There was also a three-cent bronze coin which was made as a pattern in 1863. The three-cent coin came about in a unique way. Postage rates fell from five cents to three cents and it was felt that because of the large quantity of business at the post office that a three cent coin would be much easier to handle. It was proposed in 1851 both as a result of the decrease in postage rates from five cents to three and to answer the need for a small-denomination, easy-to-handle coin. It was another one of James B. Longacre’s designs.