$4 Stella (1879 – 1880)

#1 $4 Stella Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

History

One of the most unique coins in U.S. history, the Stella Four Dollar gold coin was introduced in 1879 in an attempt to compete with various foreign gold coins to address the international market. Most of the foreign gold coins being used in international trade were slightly smaller than the U.S. five dollar gold piece. The “Stella” was named for the Latin word for “star” because of the prominent five pointed star on the reverse of the coin. The coin was proposed to Congress for international trade, but never saw circulation in the public domain. Instead, they were only made in pattern-coin form to demonstrate to Congress what they might look like. In fact, they were struck as patterns in several metals, including, gold, aluminum, copper and white metal. In any event, the gold coins were minted for only two years and in extremely low numbers. While the exact quantity of coins minted is not known, estimates are that the total number may have been less than 500 coins. The Stella Four dollar pattern-coin was minted in 1879 for congressman to examine and 1880 when it is believed the coins were secretly minted for sale to private collectors. Minting of the coin took place at the Philadelphia mint.

The obverse or front of the Four Dollar Stella coin displays the head of Liberty in two different varieties. One version with her hair down, the “Flowing Hair variety and one with her hair up in a bun, the “Coiled Hair” variety. The date of mintage appears under Liberty’s head and the head is surrounded with letters and numbers meant to indicate the coin’s composition. The reverse of the coin displays a large five-pointed star surrounded by the words, “United States Of America” and the denomination, (written as “FOUR DOL.”). Inside the star are the words “One Stella” and “400 Cents”.

Value

The factors that go into determining the value of the Stella Four dollar gold coin include, gold content, scarcity, variety and condition. The diameter of the four dollar gold piece is 22 mm and the composition is 85.7% gold, 4.3% silver and 10 % copper. Because of their extreme rarity, the gold content is not really a significant factor in its value. Since so few were minted and fewer still remain in existence, any Stella Four Dollar gold coin is considered an extreme rarity. All coins were struck as proofs and even the most common known in Proof 60 condition is worth in excess of $100,000. The 1880 Coiled Hair variety, in very high proof state has been valued in excess of $2,500,000.

Because there are so many varied opinions on the condition (or grade) of a coin, the values mentioned reflect the highest retail prices that have been obtained for those coins that have been assessed by a third party grading company. Such coins have been authenticated, graded and encapsulated by expert coin grading companies to minimize any doubt as to their authenticity, quality and value and therefore their potential worth.

We Buy Stella Four Dollar Gold Coins

We want to buy your coins and as a business it is our pledge to offer you the best value for your coins, however, always remember that the prices you may find online or in price guides usually represent the highest retail value for the coin in an already certified condition. As a trusted dealer we will have our coin specialists evaluate your coins at no cost and offer you a price that is both fair for you, but that also allows us to realize a reasonable profit.