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    Description

    Stunning PR 66 1879 Coiled Hair Stella--One of Only 10-15 Pieces Believed Known

    1879 Coiled Hair PR 66 PCGS. As interest in an international gold coin increased in 1879, both of the Mint's engravers were charged with designing a new coin for the "stella" or four dollar gold piece. Charles Barber's design employed a flowing hair motif, while George Morgan used a coiled hair design for Liberty. More than 400 of Barber's flowing hair design were produced in 1879, but Morgan's coiled hair pieces saw very limited production runs with an estimated 10-15 coins produced each year. Actual numbers struck are probably somewhat higher with Akers estimating that perhaps as many as 13 to 15 pieces extant today. Breen stated that at least 10 pieces were known and estimated that 15 survive today in all grades.
    The issue was raised in both the Akers' text and the entry in Breen's Encyclopedia regarding restrikes of this issue. Only one was believed by Akers to make a convincing case for having been restruck. It shows adjustment marks on the obverse similar to those seen on the 1879 Flowing Hair pieces that are generally considered to have been struck in 1880. This piece is a bit softly struck over the ear as are all examples of this issue. There also are several very light "adjustment marks" on the figure of Liberty, marks that are most likely roller marks rather than actual adjustment marks done to lighten the weight of the planchet. However, in examining the coin we find no evidence to support any contention that this piece was a restrike from 1880.
    This piece is absolutely magnificent. The fields are nicely reflective and the surfaces overall are all but devoid of even the slightest imperfections. To identify this piece in the future we draw attention to the following: three small areas of planchet roughness in the field before and after the S in the peripheral legend on the obverse, and a small luster graze on the star just below the S in CENTS on the reverse. An outstanding example of this legendary rarity in U.S. numismatics. (NGC ID# 28AZ, PCGS# 8058)

    Weight: 7.00 grams

    Metal: 86% Gold, 4% Silver, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 1998
    3rd-6th Monday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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