Here is the first of three coins that were among the highlights of
Heritage Auctions' recent Platinum Night auction in Illinois.
1880 Coiled Hair gold $4 Stella pattern coin led Heritage’s April 23
Platinum Night auction at the Central States Numismatic Society annual convention.
rarity, opened at a bid of $1,300,000 and then quickly moved up until
it stopped at a cut bid (where a bid is split between two standard
increments, here between $1.5 and $1.6 million) of $1,550,000. With
the buyer’s fee of 17.5 percent, the total price realized came to
$1,821,250 and auctioneer Chris Dykstra lowered the gavel to applause
in the salesroom.
coin is considered the second finest of around 10 known and graded
Proof 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. with a green Certified
Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade.
finest known example, graded Proof 67 Cameo by NGC brought more than
$2.5 million at a Bonham’s auction in 2013.
Keep reading our CSNS coverage:
the provenance in the lot description for the coin just sold, when
offered in 1991 at a Superior Galleries auction it realized $440,000
and at a 1982 auction it sold for $102,300.
issue, numbered Judd 1660 and Pollock 1860 in the standard references
to the pattern series, is part of a series of $4 pattern types
produced in 1879 and 1880. In 1879, perhaps as many as 725 coins with
Charles Barber’s Flowing Hair design were struck to be distributed to
congressmen, with the hopes of gaining favor for the denomination,
which had aims to be an international trade coin. An alternative
design by Charles Morgan, featuring Liberty with coiled hair, was
produced in smaller numbers in 1879 and in 1880.
the four variants, the 1880 Coiled Hair $4 Stella is the rarest.
reason why the 1880 Coiled Hair issue is rarer is somewhat mysterious.
The first known auction appearance of an example was in 1906, followed
by a 1943 B. Max Mehl sale that stated in the description, “While
according to mint records the number of specimens minted of this
variety was about the same as that of the 1879 coiled hair and the
1880 flowing hair, but for some reason or other, there has been far
fewer specimens of this coin offered in the past fifty years than that
of any other variety.”
the $4 denomination was a failure in that it did not serve a real need
since it did not match its European counterparts. It was never adopted
for circulation production.
offered example featured handsome, orange-gold surfaces and the
typical parallel striations seen across both sides, which Heritage’s
description suggests could be the result of the coins being struck on
filed down $5 half eagle planchets or possibly the result of the
fact, three of the top 10 lots in the auction were Stellas. An 1879
Coiled Hair Stella, Judd 1638, Pollock 1838, graded Proof 65 by
Professional Coin Grading Service with a green CAC sticker, opened at
a bid of $650,000 before selling for a bid of $750,000 ($881,250 with
buyer’s fee) to an internet bidder.
1880 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd 1657, Pollock 1857, graded PCGS Proof
66 sold for $517,000 to a floor bidder while an 1879 Flowing Hair
Stella, Judd 1635, Pollock 1833, graded Proof 67 Cameo with an NGC
Star, brought $305,550 as it sold to an Internet bidder.
Keep reading about rarities sold during Heritage Auctions
Unique 1794 Flowing Hair half dollar
Indian Head gold $10 eagle
More from CoinWorld.com:
rules in favor of Langbord family in 1933 Saint-Gaudens double
case: What are those 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagles worth?
£34 million worth of silver coins from SS City of Cairo wreck have
curious 1837 dime in an NGC black holder (or, when a coin in an
MS-65 slab is valued like an MS-67)
grades first Mint State 68 1884-CC Morgan dollar while still in
its GSA holder
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