1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella Proof makes $146,500 in New York

An 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella Proof cameo designed by George Morgan has sold for $146,250 at Bonhams in New York.

The Coins and Medals auction included the Robbins Collection of US Gold Coins and took place on December 17.

Flowing Hair Stella 1879
The 15 originals do not feature striations

The coin is quite possibly one of the 15 originals minted in 1879, as it features none of the striations visible on the reverse of the coins minted later that year.

It was first proposed in the late 1800s by John Kasson, US ambassador to Austria, as a way to facilitate international trade through the creation of a coin that could be used as currency worldwide.

The value was set to $4 - roughly that of the Austrian florin.

Two designs were produced, with one showing Liberty with coiled hair and the other with flowing hair.

Of the two, the coiled hair is significantly rarer - with one example achieving $2.5m at Bonhams Los Angeles in September this year.

The project proved expensive and fruitless, and was shelved in 1880 - although a number of the dollars remained in the US Mint and subsequently appeared on the collectors' market.

Another Flowing Hair Stella proof made $117,000, and featured some light roller lines and hairline cracks - hence the disparity in the price.

We have a range of rare coins available to purchase.

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