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Description

1879 Coiled Hair Stella, Judd-1639, Low R.7
Gilt Copper, PR64, Perhaps Eight Survive
Among the Finest Certified

1879 Coiled Hair Four Dollar Stella, Judd-1639, Pollock-1839, Low R.7, PR64 Gilt NGC.

Design. The reverse and the obverse periphery feature the same design and legends as on the 1879 Flowing Hair, but the George T. Morgan Coiled Hair design of Liberty occupies the central obverse. The reverse is the same on all stellas. Struck in copper, gilt, with a reeded edge.

Commentary. USPatterns.com estimates that about a dozen survive of the Judd-1639, including the gilt and copper examples together. Just like the Charles Barber 1879 Flowing Hair stella, the Morgan 1879 Coiled Hair was also produced in goloid metric three-piece sets. Here, the sets included the Judd-1622 and Judd-1631 goloid metric dollars. USPatterns notes that it is "unclear if they were were offered for the same price as Barber's." The three-piece sets were produced in goloid, copper (some gilt), aluminum, and white metal and were repeated in 1880.

The George T. Morgan Coiled Hair design is far rarer overall than the Flowing Hair design, due to the several hundred 1879 Flowing Hair gold stellas available. Subtracting those pieces out, the two 1879 designs both appear to be of about equal rarity in the other metals. USPatterns estimates that about 18 survive for the Flowing Hair:
--13 (or so) copper, some gilt;
--4 aluminum;
--1 white metal, unique.


For the 1879 Coiled Hair, USPatterns.com provides these estimates:
--13 (or so) copper, some gilt;
--5 aluminum;
--1 white metal (


Note that all of the stella patterns in this set, including the quintuple stella, proclaim the same nominal metallic proportions: The weight is an even number of metric grams (here 7), with the metal ratio advertised as six-sevenths gold, with the seventh part a 30:70 alloy of silver to copper. In countries using the metric system, the value of a coin containing 6 grams of gold, 0.3 grams of silver, and 0.7 grams of copper could be rapidly computed and valued for commerce. The value on the reverse--exactly four U.S. dollars--was more problematic, given the constantly fluctuating values of gold and silver.

Physical Description. Attractive medium-gold coloration prevails on both sides of this extremely rare near-Gem, among the finest gilt specimens obtainable, of which perhaps eight or less survive today. Only under a loupe, we notice a tiny copper-colored patch just under Liberty's earlobe, but this remarkable coin brings fully to life George T. Morgan's rather modernistic concept of Liberty. This splendidly mirrored piece, with considerable contrast, might easily be confused for a gold piece by many observers.

NGC Census: 1 PR66 Brown, 1 PR61 Gilt, 3 PR62 Gilt, 2 PR63 Gilt, 1 PR64 Gilt, 1 PR65 Gilt Cameo.
PCGS Population: 1 PR64 Brown, 1 PR65 Brown (11/10). (NGC ID# 3B4S, PCGS# 62017)


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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2011
5th-9th Wednesday-Sunday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 5,611

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