Known as one of the “white whales” in coin collecting circles because it is so rare, a 1880 $4.00 Coiled Hair Stella sold at auction for $2.75 million in Los Angeles recently.
Unlike the Morgan silver dollar, the $4.00 Coiled Hair Stella is one of the many “pattern” coins designed by George T. Morgan, which were never meant for circulation and contains six grams of pure gold alloyed with silver and copper into what is called “goloid.”
The coin features a profile of lady liberty looking to the viewers left on the obverse side. Below the image is the date 1880 and around the coin, curiously punctuated by stars, is the composition of the coin, given as 6 G, .3 S, .7 C, 7 GRAMS, signifying 6 grams of gold, .3 grams of silver, .7 grams of copper totaling 7 grams altogether.
A prominent star is featured on the reverse of the coin as one might expect since the Latin word for star is “Stella.” Within the star are the words “ONE STELLA” and “400 CENTS.” Immediately surrounding the star are the Latin words “E PLURIBUS UMUN” and DEO EST GLORIA,” translated, “Out of many, one,” and “God is glory.” Surrounding this inner circle are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “FOUR DOL.”
The creation of the coin was in response to the feeling that the United States needed a gold coin whose weight would be interchangeable with Latin Monetary Union countries like France, Belgium and Switzerland. Unfortunately the coin never caught the publics imagination and so was never minted for circulation.
We here at ITM Trading find the amazing prices these old rare gold coins fetch at auction truly fascinating. Not all rare gold coins carry such a high price tag and we would welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge with you of how to buy gold coins. If this is an intriguing thought please give us a call at 1 888 OWN GOLD (1 888 696 4653).