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    1879 Flowing Hair Stella, PR62
    Extremely Popular Type and Pattern Issue
    Judd-1635, Pollock-1833

    1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR62 NGC. The four-dollar gold Stella is undeniably one of the most highly prized and sought-after type coins in American numismatics. Struck during a two-year period in 1879 and 1880, the Stella appeals to collectors of all sorts including type, pattern, and circulation-strike enthusiasts. Moreover, the Stella, like the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, is one of the few issues to be included in general United States coin references like the Guide Book. The issue ranks 18th on Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth's 100 Greatest U.S. Coins (2014).

    Initially conceived as a solution to difficulties in exchanging foreign denominations for American coins, the Stella was ultimately abandoned in 1880 as the double eagle already served as an effective medium for international trade purposes. A small run of four dollar gold coins was struck. Charles Barber, the son of former Chief Engraver William Barber who died in 1879, designed a Flowing Hair obverse, while future Chief Engraver George T. Morgan, whose eponymous Morgan dollar entered into circulation one year prior, submitted a Coiled Hair design. The Flowing Hair type was first struck to the extent of just 15 "original" pieces. However, an additional 400 to 700 restrikes bearing the 1879 date were coined in 1880 and distributed to members of Congress for their approval. A series of striations appear on all examples seen, and it is doubtful that originals can today be identified from the 1880 restrikes. The other four dollar gold varieties, including the 1879 Coiled Hair, 1880 Flowing Hair, and 1880 Coiled Hair, are all significantly rarer and largely unobtainable for most collectors. Consequently, the 1879 Flowing Hair Stella often serves as the only available representative from this short-lived legendary denomination.

    The present coin is an attractive PR62 example, with well-detailed design elements and slightly hazy reflective fields. The pleasing yellow-gold surfaces show a scattering of minor contact marks and the ubiquitous striations are faint. Overall presentation is quite attractive for this sought-after pattern issue.
    From The Music City Collection.(Registry values: P1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28AZ, PCGS# 8057)

    Weight: 7.00 grams

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

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

    View all of [The Music City Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,502

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