Auction review: $4 ‘Stella’ coins highlight Heritage Platinum Night

$41m USD in total U.S. coin sales at Florida United Numismatists Auction

Two examples of the fabled U.S. $4 gold piece—also known as the Stella—highlighted the results of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention sale hosted by Heritage Auctions.

Just shy of $25 million USD in U.S. coins crossed the block during Heritage’s Platinum Night, which was the feature event in the Jan. 3-8 Heritage U.S. Coin FUN auction. All results include a 20 per cent buyer’s premium.

The Stellas were intended to circulate internationally alongside other commonly accepted trade coinage such as sovereigns. Never struck for circulation, pattern examples only were struck only in 1879 and 1880, and with 1880 being “far rarer”, according to auctioneers. Two obverse designs were used each year.

An 1879 Stella with a similar grade sold for $312,500 USD (including buyer’s premium).

All Stellas, regardless of date or variety, are highly sought-after coins. An example of the 1880 Stella with the Flowing Hair obverse, graded Proof 67 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., was the highest selling lot in the auction, reaching a final price of $750,000 USD.

similarly graded coin dated 1879 sold for $312,500 USD.

Both coins belonged to the Burgess Lee Berlin Collection of important U.S. rarities.


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