US Coins

American rarity realizes $130,000

A famous rarity of American numismatics, a Proof 1879 Flowing Hair Stella gold $4 pattern, realized €94,800 (about $130,266 in U.S. funds), including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, during an auction in the Netherlands.

The pattern was the highlight of a large offering of American coins that included a handful of famous rarities, in the Nov. 3 and 4 auction, which was the 337th from the auction house Schulman b.v., in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The auction realized €812,600 (about $1,116,005 U.S.), including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, which is included in prices shown here.

The Stella gold $4 pattern was the highlight of not only the 160 lots of American coinage, an unusually large offering of such material for the firm, but the auction overall.

Proposed as a denomination suitable for international circulation, the $4 coin never materialized beyond the pattern stage, where multiple versions were produced in 1879 and 1880 with two distinct obverse designs each year, one a Flowing Hair Liberty motif and the other a Coiled Hair Liberty motif. The coin in the Schulman auction is the most common version, with more than 425 pieces known. The other three coins have individual mintages of between 12 and 18 pieces.

A highlight among the 722 lots of coins and paper money of or related to Netherlands and Dutch history happens to also have an American provenance.

The auction’s 1944-D silver 10-cent coin for the Netherlands was struck at the Denver Mint but was not among the more than 24 million examples melted. Graded MS-63 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coin realized €15,600 ($21,436 U.S.).

The auction also featured ancient and world coins and historical medals, the latter including papal medals.

The auction was held in the Hotel Lapershoek in Hilversum. A total of 1,101 lots, from 1,431 lots offered, or 77 percent, were sold in the auction.

The complete catalog is posted online at the auction firm’s website,, and is also accessible through

For more information about the auction, telephone the firm at (011) 31 35 691 6632, email it at or visit its website. ¦

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