Menu
Welcome Sign-In | Join Now
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 

Description

1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Proof
Planchet Striations are Still Evident, As Always

1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1832, R.3 -- PCGS Genuine. Proof. The 1879 Flowing Hair stellas produced in gold were distributed to Congressmen in three-piece sets that also included the Judd-1617 and Judd-1626 silver dollars, a.k.a. the "Goloid Metric Dollar" and the "Silver Metric Dollar," as Philadelphia numismatist Samuel K. Harzfeld called them in a June 30, 1880 offering through Messrs. Bangs & Co. of New York City, lots 393-395. The pieces were offered separately with an option for all three to be bought together; they apparently sold as a group for $50. Harzfeld wrote a tantalizing beginning to the lot description: "This is one of the original 15 sets, submitted to Congress."

We have written of this offering before. The "original stellas" would have been produced in a true metric alloy totaling 7 gm net weight, which is six-sevenths gold, with the remaining one-seventh composed of a 30:70 silver-copper alloy. (This works out to 85.7142% gold, with the remaining one-seventh [14.2857%] silver 4.2857% and copper 10.0000%.) Such an awkward alloy would surely not have been produced by the U.S. Mint for a pattern coinage that had a next-to-nothing chance of becoming a commercial coin. The traditional alloy for federal gold was 90% gold and 10% copper, and it has long been our belief that the stellas were produced on normal .900 fine half eagle planchets shaved down to 80% of their normal thickness to produce the four dollar coins; this accounts for the planchet striations seen on all known pieces.

The "original" stellas were supposed to have been produced in the true metric alloy to the extent of 10 or 15 pieces, with the few hundred restrikes produced in the standard gold alloy. As time passes and every known example of the stella shows similar die striations, it reinforces our belief that no original 1879 Flowing Hair stellas exist. Unfortunately, Harzfeld provides no mention of the physical appearance of the stella beyond "brilliant gold proof" and certainly mentions no die striations or lack thereof.

This is certainly a "brilliant gold proof" but in a different sense than Harzfeld intended the phrase. Each side shows evidence of vigorous cleaning, and as a result the surfaces are unnaturally bright. Even so, close examination with a loupe reveals the striations on the central devices that are seen on all stellas. There are no detracting contact marks on either side.(Registry values: P1, N1) (NGC ID# 28AZ, PCGS# 8057)

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
September, 2013
25th-29th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 732

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

Heritage membership

946,040
bidder-members
$893,760,340
sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

VIEW BENEFITS
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    winnings 

Consignments wanted

Only 35 days left to consign to the 2015 December 10 - 12 World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong!

Learn about consigning with us

Heritage Auctions has consistently displayed unvarying kindness and knowledge. Its experts permitted me to profit from my hobby without ever treating my treasures solely in terms of their market value.
[ Additional Handwritten Note » ]
Maggie Thompson,
Iola, WI
View More Testimonials

HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit: compete.com

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $34,801,934
2015 August 13 ANA World and Ancient Coins Platinum Night Auction
2015 August 13 ANA World and Ancient Coins Platinum Night Auction
REALIZED $9,698,676
2015 August 13 ANA Currency Platinum Night Auction - Chicago
2015 August 13 ANA Currency Platinum Night Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $1,870,380

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved