US Coins

1879 Liberty Head double eagle pattern strong at sale

A “Quintuple Stella” pattern 1879 Liberty Head gold $20 double eagle brought $1,880,000 on May 19, leading Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency XVII Auction in New Orleans. The pattern was bought by Heritage’s president, Greg Rohan, who “purchased the coin on behalf of a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.” The sale was part of the Professional Coin Grading Service Members Only show. Beyond that singular seven-figure price, collectors still showed that they are hungry for 20th century issues that are counted among the finest known.   

The Coin:

1879 Liberty Head gold $20 double eagle pattern, PCGS Proof 64 Deep Cameo

The Price:


The Story:

The “Quintuple Stella” is collected as part of the popular and interesting Stella $4 pattern series of 1879 and 1880.

A rare “Quintuple Stella” 1879 Liberty Head gold $20 double eagle pattern, one of five examples struck in gold, brought a massive $1.88 million. The pattern, graded PCGS Proof 64 Deep Cameo, came from the Bob R. Simpson Collection and it is considered the second finest known, behind a different example graded PCGS Proof 64+ Deep Cameo also owned by Simpson. That example remains in his collection.

The obverse of this pattern features a familiar Coronet Liberty Head similar to that used on contemporary gold $20 double eagles but with different obverse lettering circling the bust relating to the composition. It is collected as part of a series of unusual issues struck in the 1870s through early 1880s at the Philadelphia Mint, including the popular Stella $4 pattern series of 1879 and 1880. 

Legend’s Laura Sperber said that the sale “proves that the big money will come out for the special coins.” She concluded, “We are very pleased to see the market is clearly alive and well, and continuing to recover from the ‘perfect storm’ that hit the market earlier this year.”

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