Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

press UP arrow key to increase the zoom ratio.
press DOWN arrow key to decrease the zoom ratio.
press RIGHT arrow key to increase the zoom window size.
press LEFT arrow key to decrease the zoom window size.

Lot 2841

1879. Flowing hair "Stella". ANACS graded Details of AU-58 Cleaned. J-1635 Restrike. Rarity 2. A pleasing example of this popular American rarity. The four dollar gold piece, or Stella, is one of the most prestigious and sought-after United States gold coins. The derivation of the term Stella is one that, while often repeated in numismatic circles, is not completely understood by many. Rather than use a weight-standard for the monetary measure, such as ounce, grain, or gram, when gold coins were first struck in the U.S. Mint in 1795, they were based on a unit of value called the 'eagle.' The eagle was equal in value to ten dollars and it also had a factual design of an eagle on one side. The "dollar" itself was based on a specific weight in metal, either silver or gold. If the eagle is worth ten dollars, it would follow that a half eagle would be worth half that amount, a quarter eagle two and a half dollars, and so on.

The four dollar gold piece, when it came along in 1879-80 (the new denomination was proposed by John Kasson as an international metric coin), was also a new base unit for gold coins, so they called it a Stella. Similar to the eagle on other gold coins denominated on the ten dollar gold standard, the statutory "Stella" has a star on the reverse, since 'Stella' means star in Latin. Charles Barber engraved the dies for the Flowing Hair Stella in 1879, although he modified a design earlier done by his father, William Barber, from the previous year (the father died in August of 1879).

Around the obverse is an abbreviation of the weight and content of the metal contained therein: 6 G[old] 3 S[ilver] .7 C[opper] 7 GRAMS all punctuated by five-pointed stars (naturally). Liberty's hair is confined at the top by a simple ribbon with a pearl or button at the forehead, inscribed LIBERTY. For the first time on the United States Pattern coin, a new motto was introduced on the Stella, and it appears around the star: DEO EST GLORIA. On the star itself, the denomination ONE / STELLA / 400 / CENTS while below, for the third time, FOUR DOL.
Estimated Value $50,000 - 55,000.
The Estate of Winthrop A. Haviland, Jr.

Realized $52,900

Go to lot:  

Home | Current Sale | Calendar of Events | Bidding | Consign | About Us | Contact | Archives | Log In

US Coins & Currency | World & Ancient Coins | Manuscripts & Collectibles | Bonded CA Auctioneers No. 3S9543300
11400 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90064 | 310. 551.2646 ph | 310.551.2626 fx | 800.978.2646 toll free

© 2011 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, All Rights Reserved