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1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd-1635, PR64
Distinctive Reddish Peripheries

1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR64 PCGS. The 1879 Flowing Hair stella is one of America's most popular gold coin types, one that is strictly a pattern but usually collected alongside regular-issue coinage -- or alongside the few other patterns that have "made it" into the wider world outside of the pattern specialists' domain.
Q. David Bowers writes in Guide Book of United States Type Coins concerning the stellas and their special status:

"By any evaluation these are patterns, not regular issues, and are in the purview of specialists in the pattern series. However, the wide availability of the 1879 Flowing Hair has made it a stock-in-trade item for coin sales and auctions for more than a century, with the majority of buyers being collectors of regular coins, not pattern specialists. Furthermore, the curious $4 patterns have been neatly adopted into nearly all books that list regular coins but not patterns (or just a few patterns, such as the 1856 Flying Eagle cent and the 1859 transitional half dime, as examples). The old Wayte Raymond Standard Catalogue (1934 to 1958 publication run) and the Guide Book of United States Coins followed suit."

The 1879 Flowing Hair stellas are variously estimated to have been made in an extent ranging from 400+ coins up to 725 or so pieces. The closest parallel to the 1879 Flowing Hair stella is another pattern issue that was produced in unusually large quantities, the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, another coin issue universally collected as part of the regular series. This is a deeply reflective example that displays rich reddish patina around the margins. There are almost no noticeable contact marks, and the usual die striations run diagonally across each side. Housed in a first-generation holder.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28AZ, PCGS# 8057)

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Auction Dates
May-Jun, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 15
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