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Lot
5838

1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1832, R.3 -- Tooled -- Genuine PCGS. Proof, Unc Details....

2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont #1188

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 9, 2013
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location: Hyatt Rosemont
6350 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL
60018
Description:
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1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Unworn Proof
Accessible Example of Judd-1635
1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1832, R.3 -- Tooled -- Genuine PCGS. Proof, Unc Details. The U.S. coinage system generally is built on a mixture of the decimal system with an overlay of halves and quarters that are an influence from 18th century Spanish money. Most Americans who do not collect coins are unaware that the United States ever made coinage in double, triple, or quadruple units regardless of denomination, but the two cent pieces of 1864-1873, the twenty cent pieces of 1875-1878, the three cent silver pieces of 1851-1873, the three cent nickels of 1865-1889, the three dollar gold coins of 1854-1889, and the 1879-1880 stellas exist nonetheless.

Of all those issues, the stella is hands-down the oddest of the lot, since it is not only the sole four-unit denomination in that list but also is strictly a pattern issue, albeit a popular one that many gold type collectors pursue as part of a complete gold type set. That is due solely to the existence of the 1879 Flowing Hair stellas, as the other three issues of 1879-80 are almost uncollectibly rare.

At first glance, this 1879 Flowing Hair stella appears to be simply a pleasing proof piece, albeit a trifle bright with assorted contact marks. Closer inspection, however, reveals smoothing on Liberty's cheek as well as on the long and enigmatic depressions which appear below the star and through the text of ONE STELLA / 400 CENTS. Though impaired, the coin retains its essential dignity and offers an opportunity for collectors who otherwise would be unable to acquire an unworn representative of this popular and unusual pattern.

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