Estimated grade. Sold by Bowers & Ruddy Nov '79 Price realized $65000
David Akers (1975/88): A reported 15 specimens of this pattern were struck, but since there are more specimens known than that and since a number of them have the same light adjustment marks on the head as the known restrikes of 1879, one might naturally conclude that this pattern was restruck as well. However, correctly used, the term "restrike" refers to a piece struck in a year later than its date, and in my opinion. this was not the case with the 1880 flowing hair stella. It hardly seems likely that specimens of the 1880 flowing hair stella would have been struck in 1881 or later. The idea of a metric coin was dead and besides, as late as October 12, 1880, there were still 150 unsold 1879 flowing hair stellas in the vaults of the Mint. I think it is much more reasonable to assume that the additional quantity of 1880 flowing hair stellas was struck after the initial 15 pieces was actually struck later in 1880, making the use of the term "restrike" incorrect. I would estimate that 25 1880 flowing hair stellas are known. This means that this pattern is 12 to 15 times as rare as the 1879 flowing hair stella, yet surprisingly, it usually brings less than twice as much when offered at public auction.
Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection (via David W. Akers and Mike Brownlee prior to 1973) - H. Jeff Browning Collection ("The Dallas Bank Collection") - Sotheby's/Stack's 11/2001:362, $241,500 - Bonham’s 9/2013:1010, $959,400
© 1999 - 2014 Collectors Universe NASDAQ: CLCT