1879 $4 Coiled Hair PR65

CERTIFICATION#: -26235
PCGS#: 8058

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Ex. Bangs & Co. (1882) Sold by Bowers & Ruddy Nov '79 Price realized $115000

Expert Comments

David Akers (1975/88): It has been estimated that only ten pieces of the 1879 coiled hair stella were struck, but in my opinion, a very small quantity were restruck, probably in 1880 along with the 400 pieces of the 1879 flowing hair stella. One specimen , the piece in the Rio Rancho Estate Sale of 1974, bears pecisely the same kind of very light adjustment marks that are seen on the restrikes of the 1879 flowing hair. Such marks, of course, are not decisive proof by themselves, but considered together with the number of known specimens and the relatively frequent auction appearances compared to the 1880 coiled hair stella (it was offered three more times than the 1880 coiled hair stella in our 238 catalogue survey, but in a check of nearly 200 catalogues back to its first auction appearance in 1882, the 1879 coiled hair has appeared more than half again as often as the 1880 coiled hair), it seems that there was a limited restrike activity. I cannot account for ten different specimens, but since it is unlikely that I know the whereabouts of all existing pieces, I feel certain that there are several additional pieces in collections, museums or estates. For this reason, I would estimate that the total number in existence is probably somewhwere around 13 to 15 pieces.

 

David Hall: The Coiled Hair design $4 Stellas are much rarer than the Flowing Hair design as a mere handful of the 1879 and 1880 Coiled Hair Stellas were struck while 425 1879 Flowing Hair Stellas were struck. For the 1879 Coiled Hair, it is not 100% certain how many were made, but general consensus is that the original mintage was around 20 and there are 14 or 15 survivors today.

 

P. Scott Rubin: An 1879 Coiled Hair Four Dollar Gold coin sold for $1,041,300 in the September 23, 2013 Bonhams Sale of the Tacasyl specimen. Graded at Proof-67 Cameo this same coin sold for $655,500, when it was offered in the 2005 Heritage Fun sale the previously high price for this variety. This is among the finest of the small number of known specimens.

This is the second rarest of the four coins making up the Four Dollar Gold or Stella coinage series. This short lived denomination was only struck with dates of 1879 and 1880; each year contains both a Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair variety.

This date and variety made its first auction appearance in the 1882 George Cogan Sale of the J. Colvin Randall collection, lot 631, the 1879 Coiled Hair Stella has only been offered sixty-two times at auction thru September, 2013.

Diameter: 22.00 millimeters Designer: George T. Morgan/Charles E. Barber Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 20 Weight: 7.00 grams Metal Content: 86% Gold, 4% Silver, 10% Copper

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 14 R-9.4 2 / 2 2 / 4
60 or Better 13 R-9.4 2 / 2 2 / 4
65 or Better 7 R-9.6 2 / 2 2 / 4

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR67 PCGS grade  
2 PR66 PCGS grade  
2 PR66 PCGS grade  
5 PR65 PCGS grade  
5 PR65 PCGS grade