1879 flowing hair stella $4 proof achieves $117,000 in LA

An 1879 flowing hair stella $4 proof made $117,000 at Bonhams Los Angeles on August 31.

The lot is the type coin for the series, which includes the ultra-rare 1879 and 1880 coiled hair stella - an example of which sold for a record $2.5m in September last year.

flowing hair stella
The 1879 flowing hair stella is the type coin for the series

The coin was famously designed as an international currency to rival the Austrian florin, which carried a value close to $4, but was ultimately shelved a year later.

A superior example of the 1879 flowing hair stella sold for $194,000 at Heritage Auctions last year.

A rare MS61-graded pewter 1776 continental dollar also sold well, achieving $70,200.

The origins of the issue remain mysterious, as no documentation authorising production has ever been found - although it's thought the coins were intended to take the place of the paper bills introduced by the Continental Congress earlier in the year.

They were also struck in both brass and silver, but these are significantly rarer than the pewter coins, which were produced in large numbers.

In January 2012, a silver strike sold for $546,250 at Heritage Auctions.

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