$4 Gold Stella
The $4 Gold Stella Coin was minted in 1879 and 1880. This coin, which came in two varieties each year, the Flowing Hair Gold Stella and the Coined Hair Gold Stella, was of metric measure and was designed as an experiment by our country to facilitate international trade with countries using the metric system. The coin was to be of approximately the same value as other European gold coins of the time: the French 20-franc piece, Italian 20-lire, Spanish 20-peseta, Dutch 8-florin and the Austrian 8-florin. It was hoped that this coin would allow the US to compete more effectively in international trade. Expressed in grams, these Gold Stella coins were produced in very limited quantities.
The official records indicate that 425 – 1879 Flowing Hair Gold Stella coins were struck. This is where the records become murky.
Although the official records don’t specify, there are only 12 known 1879 Coiled Hair Gold Stella coins, 17 – 1880 Flowing Hair Gold Stella coins, and 18 – 1880 Coiled Hair Gold Stella Coins.
Given the limited production quantities, the Gold Stella Coin went onto celebrated status up alongside the 1804 Dollar and the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin. However, one can own this magnificent coin for a more modest “high six figure” price. A bargain when compared with the stratospheric prices paid for both the 1804 dollar and the 1933 Double Eagle.
Gold Stella Statistics
Weight: 7 Grams
Composition: 86% gold, 10% copper, 4% silver
Diameter: 22 millimeters
Designer: Charles E Barber – Flowing Hair Gold Stella obverse
George Morgan – Coiled Hair Gold Stella obverse