An 1880 Coiled Hair Stella has set a new world record price for its type at Bonhams' auction of the Tacasyl Collection of Magnificent United States Proof Gold coins.
The coin sold for an impressive $2.5m, making a 66.6% increase on the $1.5m estimate given prior to the September 23 auction in Los Angeles. The price places the 1880 $4 Coiled Hair Stella among the top 10 most valuable US coins sold at auction.
Also selling was an 1879 $4 Stella that, according to Bonhams, almost doubled the previous record for its design and type to make $1m. Following was an 1880 Flowing Hair Stella, which also doubled the previous record at $959,400.
The Stellas, a group of $4 coins produced between 1879 and 1880, were minted as pattern coins in an unsuccessful effort to create a coin that could be used in international trade, as part of the Latin Monetary Union.
The idea was that the coins would contain a certain amount of a precious metal (in this case gold), similar to the LMU gold piece, or the 20-franc coin minted in France and Switzerland, among others.
Further highlights from the collection included the 1891 proof Double Eagle (graded NGC Proof 68 Ultra Cameo), which set a new record price as the most valuable Liberty Head proof Double Eagle at $655,200.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a magnificent selection of rare coins for sale.