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US Coins Signature Auction #1327 postponed to February 23 - 25. Get details.

    Description

    1880 Flowing Hair Stella, Proof AU Details
    Judd-1658, Pollock-1858, Gilt Copper
    A Little More Than a Dozen Pieces Extant

    1880 $4 Judd-1658 Gilt, Pollock-1858, High R.6 -- Cleaned -- PCGS Proof Genuine. AU Details. The Flowing Hair design by Charles Barber. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. This piece, like several other stellas struck in metals other than gold, has been gilt. Much has been written about the four dollar stella, a lot of it speculative. We know the 1879 Flowing hair variety was distributed to members of congress as a potential international trade coin, but the reasons for striking the 1879 Coiled Hair and both 1880 versions are less clear. It is likely that 1880 Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair stellas were struck in gold simply to have on hand for collectors. Additional patterns in copper and aluminum were possibly distributed as cheap samples for various Treasury officials. USPatterns.com reports a little over a dozen examples are known in copper, compared to about 20 gold representatives.
    This four dollar stella was possibly carried briefly as a pocket piece; both sides show trace amounts of friction. The gilt surfaces were cleaned at some point, deepening the color and exposing coppery undertones. A few scattered marks in the left obverse field will identify this rarity in future appearances.


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

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    2nd-4th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 293

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    We also followed the bidding online yesterday here in Salt Lake for the other 3 coins - great fun. Prices realized met or exceeded our expectations.
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