1880 Coiled Hair Stella auctions for record $2.5m at Bonhams

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.

Stella $4 1880 Pattern proof coin
The Stellas of 1880 were created as a failed attempt to produce a coin that could be used in international trade

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.

The most valuable Liberty Head proof Double Eagle sold at auction

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.

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