The rare $4 gold coin is called the “1880 $4 Stella Coiled Hair Cameo PF-67 NGC.” The $4 gold coin contains six grams of pure gold and is so rare that only about 10 to 12 still exist, said Paul Song, director of rare coins for Bonhams, one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques.
The rare $4 gold coin was struck in the United States but never released into circulation because of lack of public support for the coin. “It was basically a scrap heap of history, which also is what makes it so rare today,” Song said.
The rare $4 gold coin is expected to be auctioned by Bonhams on Sept. 23 as part of the bigger 27-piece Tacasyl Collection of Magnificent United States Proof Gold Coins, ArtFixDaily reported. The entire lot of rare gold coins is expected to fetch as much as $8 million.
The rare $4 gold coin Stella Coiled Hair is essentially a work of art in itself. It features a likeness of Liberty on one side and a star with the words “One Stella 400 Cents” on the other side. The rare gold coin was designed to match the weight of coinage of countries in the Latin Monetary Union like France, Belgium and Switzerland, to make intercountry trading easier, Song said.
Only 425 Stellas were produced in total, and none were ever approved for circulation. Stellas are therefore “pattern coins,” meaning that they were produced purely for the purpose of evaluation and not authorized for use as currency, ArtFixDaily said.
Visit the Bonhams website to learn more about the rare $4 gold coin and others in the Tacasyl Collection.