1880 Flowing Hair Copper Stella, Judd-1658
1880 Flowing Hair Four Dollar Stella, Judd-1658, Pollock-1858,
Low R.7, PR64 Gilt NGC.
PR64 Gilt, Only One Gilt Coin Graded Finer
Design. The Charles Barber Flowing Hair design from the 1879 stellas is carried over here into a second year of production. But the two issues are hardly carbon copies, even though the design appears the same. We have noted previously the unusually small date, shifted right, with the 0 in the date nearly touching the lowest hair curls. The reverse is a carbon copy, the same die carried over from the 1879 strikings. Struck in copper, gilt, with a reeded edge.
Commentary. As can be seen from the certified populations, the survivors appear about equally split between gilt and nongilt copper types, with the figures combined in most references including Judd. For example, the Judd 10th edition does not assign separate Judd numbers for the gilt examples, rather grouping them with the copper (nongilt) pieces. In any case, both types are rare. We offered what is likely the technically finest graded nongilt example, the Lemus Collection example certified PR66 Red and Brown, in our FUN 2009 Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1937, where it realized a healthy $86,250.
The 1880 Flowing Hair stellas were also struck in aluminum and gold. All are quite rare.
This PR64 gilt piece is tied with one other so graded as second finest among the certified gilt pieces. The 1880 Flowing Hair stellas are far rarer overall than the 1879 Flowing Hair coins, of which several hundred gold examples exist. USPatterns.com estimates that a dozen or more examples of the 1880 Flowing Hair survive in copper, including the gilt pieces, a figure that concurs with our research. One of those pieces is held in the Connecticut State Library collection. A PR64 Red and Brown copper example in the Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1939, brought $51,750.
Physical Description. Fully struck surfaces throughout display attractive orange-gold color. There is much reflectivity present, with moderate frost on the devices and immense eye appeal prevailing. A tiny lilac-colored spot behind the head is likely the most reliable pedigree identifier, along with a thin line from the hair down onto the cheek. Seldom offered in any metal, and as such a prime opportunity for advanced pattern collectors.
NGC Census: 1 PR64 Brown, 1 PR64 Red and Brown, 1 PR66 Red and Brown, 1 PR60 Gilt, 4 PR63 Gilt, 2 PR64 Gilt, 1 PR65 Gilt.
PCGS Population: 1 PR63 Brown, 1 PR64 Red and Brown; 1 PR64 Red (11/10). (NGC ID# 2AJG, PCGS# 62043)
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