$4 Gold StellaThe four dollar gold piece, or "Stella," is a Pattern issue that is considered by advanced collectors to be an integral addition to a complete type set of United States gold coinage. The short-lived prototype series was struck only in 1879 and 1880, with a metric weight of 7 grams: 6.3 gold, .3 silver and .7 copper. The intended purpose; an American gold coin for international trading purposes. Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair obverses were used in both years. Only the 1879 Flowing Hair example was struck in the relatively large number of 425+ pieces, for distribution to congressmen, and many of those are said to be restrikes made in 1880. Just 10 to 15 each of the other three varieties are reported. Specimens are seldom encountered.
Reference books include: UNITED STATES PATTERNS AND RELATED ISSUES by Andrew W. Pollock III; UNITED STATES PATTERN COINS, EXPERIMENTAL AND TRIAL PIECES by J. Hewitt Judd; A GUIDE BOOK OF UNITED STATES COINS by R.S. Yeoman; and the all encompassing COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF U.S. AND COLONIAL COINS by Walter Breen.
Rare Dates: 1879 Flowing Hair, 1879 Coiled Hair, 1880 Flowing Hair, 1880 Coiled Hair.
Famous Issues: 1879 Flowing Hair, 1879 Coiled Hair, 1880 Flowing Hair, 1880 Coiled Hair.