Nicely toned on both sides in varying shades of silver-green and russet. The first type of this design has a plain star on the obverse (no borderlines), a simple C and Roman numeral III on the reverse. Coins of this Type were struck on .750 fine silver planchets, the first use of "subsidiary" coinage.
According to Donald Taxay in his U.S. Mint and Coinage p.219, on March 2, 1851, mint engraver Longacre, having prepared the design and cut the dies for the first type of this denomination, wrote to Treasury Secretary Corwin to explain the designs (of which he enclosed trial strikes, possibly uniface): ". That portion of the act referred to which prescribes my duties in relation to the coin is in these words: 'The said coin shall bear such devices as shall be conspicuously different from those of the other silver coins and from the gold dollar, but having the inscription United States of America, and its denomination and date.' On so small a coin it is impossible that the device can be at once conspicuous and striking unless it is simple -- complexity would defeat the object. For the obverse I have therefore chosen a star (one of the heraldic elements of the National crest) bearing on its centre the shield of the Union, surrounded by the legal inscription and date. For the reverse I have devised an ornamental letter C embracing in its centre the Roman numeral III, the whole encircled by the thirteen stars." (PCGS 3667)