David Lawrence Sells 1879 $4 Stella For $1 Million


David Lawrence Rare Coins (DLRC) brokered one of the rarest U.S. gold issues from the 19th Century — an 1879 Coiled Hair $4 Gold Stella graded PCGS Proof 66 Cameo.

1879 Coiled Hair $4 Gold Stella
This 1879 Coiled Hair $4 Gold Stella sold for more than $1,000,000

Sold for just over $1 million and now one of the newest members of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club, the rarity can be traced back several generations as it was once part of the fabled Garrett and Buddy Ebsen Collections.

It last realized $851,875 in early 2014 at public auction. The piece had been held off the market for a few years and was recently acquired on behalf of the collector from a New Jersey dealer.

"A valued client and collector that we’ve had the privilege of working with in recent years contacted us in his search for a Coiled Hair Stella," John Brush, President of David Lawrence "Thanks to our long-standing relationships with dealers throughout the country, we were able to locate this piece quickly, and we were excited to marry the coin and the collector."

$4 Stellas of 1879 and 1880 are technically considered "pattern" coinage, but are treated and collected as regular-issue proof gold pieces. Named "Stella" for the Italian word "star" depicted on the reverse, the coins were originally conceived by John A. Kasson with help from Dr. William Wheeler Hubbell, and were to be used for international trade. However, the coins did not gain public acceptance  and their production was halted.

There are two varieties: Coiled Hair and Flowing Hair, with Coiled Hair being the rarer of the two. The 1879 Coiled Hair is the second rarest date, behind the 1880, and only twelve examples are known to have been struck.

"In the current marketplace, high end coins of major rarities are becoming increasingly harder to locate," Brush noted. "When collectors let us know their current Want Lists, we work hard to locate special coins such as the Coiled Hair Stella."

The 1879 Coiled Hair Stella is a premium gem with well-struck devices, the lightest softness is noticed on some hair strands due to the typical planchet striations. Frosty surfaces with wonderful cameo contrasts and deeply-mirrored fields, the eye-appeal of this piece is nearly unmatched.

David Lawrence Rare Coins, founded in 1979, is an industry leader in the trading and auctioning of U.S. rare coins certified by PCGS, NGC, and CAC. For more information about the company and its services, visit www.davidlawrence.com, call 800-776-0560, or email coins@davidlawrence.com.

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Seth Riesling

These pieces were never legal tender coins & are classified as coinage patterns & were never minted for circulation. These coinage patterns were produced in gold, copper, aluminum, & base “white metal” to show to politicians in D.C. as a possible future coin to no avail. Although, crooked U.S. Mint employees sold them to wealthy collectors against the law. Beautiful patterns they are for sure, both types, but not coins.