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Shop $4 Stella Gold (Proof)

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Series Overview: $4 Stella Gold (Proof)

The $4 Stella, produced from 1879 through 1880, is a pattern coin that did not circulate but is enthusiastically pursued by collectors of 19th-century gold. The coin was proposed for international monetary trade, but it became apparent that, with its $4 denomination, there was no real equivalent foreign equivalent.

There are two types of Stellas: the Flowing Hair Stella believed to have been designed by Charles E. Barber and the Coiled Hair Stella by George T. Morgan. While 1879 Stellas were struck for examination by Congressmen, the 1880 Stellas were struck by the United States Mint for collectors. Both the Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair types were struck during 1879 and 1880. All were struck as proofs at the Philadelphia Mint.

Precise mintage figures are unknown for the 1879 and 1880 Stellas, but estimates suggest a mintage of more than 425 pieces for the 1879 Flowing Hair Stella and just 12 for the 1879 Coiled Hair type. Examples from 1880 are generally scarcer than their 1879 counterparts, with only 17 known of the Flowing Hair type and 8 of the Coiled Hair. With the exception of worn 1879 Flowing Hair Stellas, which trade in the five-figure range, most Stella $4 patterns are six-figure coins.

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