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    Description

    1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, PR64
    A Splendidly Attractive Example of this Famed Type

    1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR64 PCGS. CAC. The four-dollar gold "stellas" of 1879 and 1880 represent one of the most wildly popular of all U.S. coinage types, regardless of whether one discusses patterns, regular issues, fantasy coins, Colonials, or any other sub-category of medallic, commemorative, or experimental coinage. The reasons for this immense popularity are difficult to quantify, but they likely include: the beauty of the original designs, the unique denomination represented, the number of pieces created, and the manner of their distribution.

    These lovely specimens are examples of an attempt to design and manufacture U.S. gold coins that would be struck in a metallic composition stated according to the metric system, and thereby encouraging more acceptance in the realm of international commerce; facilitating trade especially with countries located in Western Europe. The original impetus for the stellas was provided by a handful of individuals that included John A. Kasson -- America's minister to Austria -- and several U.S. Congressmen including Richard "Silver Dick" Bland.

    After 15 "originals" were made in 1879, from Charles Barber's Flowing Hair design, an additional 400 to 700 pieces were struck of the same type (and dated 1879) in 1880, and distributed primarily to members of Congress and their staffers. Many of those coins are rumored to have been given to wives and mistresses of the Congressmen, including some Washington D.C.-area madams. All of the 1880 restrikes dated 1879, including this piece, display parallel die striations through Liberty's hair curls while the "originals" do not, according to numismatic legend.

    This appealing near-Gem is housed in an old green PCGS holder. It exhibits delicate mint-green toning in the fields and lovely apricot color on the design motifs. Most of the elements are sharply struck, except for the hair curls above the ear and forehead, and the surfaces reveal generally excellent preservation. One shallow abrasion is noted beneath the second U of UNUM. Overall, this is a splendidly attractive example of the famous stella pattern issue, and one that should produce spirited bidding activity when it crosses the auction block.
    From The La Jolla Lady's 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-13th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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