US Coins

June 22 Spink sale includes United States patterns

The June 22 auction session of Spink USA's The Numismatic Collector's Series Sale includes a selection of United States coin patterns, including an 1879 Coiled Hair Stella $4 pattern struck in aluminum.

The sale is set to begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time at 145 W. 57th St., 18th Floor, in New York City.

The reeded edge 1879 Coiled Hair $4 Stella pattern in aluminum is attributed as Judd 1640 in United States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers. Graded Proof 66 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the pattern carries an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.

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Once part of the Lemus Collection, the pattern executed by U.S. Mint Engraver George T. Morgan depicts a rendition of Liberty with coiled hair on the obverse.

Inscribed around is 6?G?.3?S?.7?C?7?G?R?A?M?S? and the date 1879 at bottom.

A five-pointed star on which is inscribed ONE / STELLA / 400 / CENTS occupies the center of the reverse. Inscribed around is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and DEO EST GLORIA. 

Stellas were intended to be gold $4 coins. Two distinct designs were struck in both 1879 and 1880, one design depicing the Coiled Hair Liberty and the other depicting a Flowing Hair Liberty. The reverse was common to both types. The concept was not adopted and none were issued for circulation, though small numbers of patterns were struck in several different metals.

Holed pattern

Also offered in the auction is an original annular 1850 cent pattern struck in a billon composition of 10 percent silver and 90 percent copper with a plain edge, attributed as Judd 119. The piece is graded Proof 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service.

The pattern carries an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

The Judd pattern book suggests the annular pattern was struck with a holed planchet, with the center perforation becoming irregular in shape from unrestrained metal flow during striking.

The obverse design appears with CENT at the top and the date 1850 below the center perforation. Single rosettes flank the opening.

The reverse appears with the inscriptions USA and ONE TENTH SILVER.

"French Head" half dollar pattern

Chief Engraver James B. Longacre executed the Judd 238 half dollar pattern referred to as the "French Head."

The pattern's obverse features Liberty facing right, laurel and vine in her hair. A ribbon on Liberty’s shoulder is inscribed LIBERTY, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around, and the date below. The HALF DOLLAR reverse mimics the Cereal Wreath reverse rendered on the 1860 Seated Liberty dime. The version in the auction is struck in copper and bears a reeded edge.

Graded NGC Proof 45 brown, the pattern bears an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

Goloid metric dollar

The 1878 goloid metric dollar pattern offered in the sale is the only version of goloid pattern by Chief Engraver William Barber from 1878 that bears METRIC in the reverse inscription.

Goloid, patented by Dr. Wheeler W. Hubbell in 1877, is a mixture containing 90 percent gold and silver, with each of the two metals in parts with equal intrinsic value, to which 10 percent copper was added to strengthen the alloy.

Attributed as Judd 1563, the pattern is struck in a goloid alloy with a reeded edge. It is graded PCGS Proof 63.

On the obverse, Liberty faces left, wearing a cap adorned with wheat ears, cotton leaves and bolls. LIBERTY is inscribed in incuse letters on her headband. 13 stars circle the rim. E PLURIBUS UNUM arches across the top.

On the reverse, GOLOID/METRIC/1— G./16.1—S./1.9—C./GRAMS 14.25. appears within a circle of 38 stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above, 100 CENTS below.

The goloid patterns were in response to legislation introduced in Congress in 1877 to provide for goloid to be used as an alloy for legal tender issues, with the pieces struck based on the metric system. However, the system was never adapted for circulation.

The pattern offered carries an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

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