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Simpson Complete $4 Stella Set

Category: Pattern Coins
Owner: Simpson
Last Modified: 11/27/2012

Set Goals
The Simpson Collection is the greatest assemblage of United States patter coins since J. Hewitt Judd’s own collection was dispersed some 50 years ago. Among its amazing highlights is a complete set of the highly coveted stellas, or four-dollar pieces, complete in all types, dates and metals.

The stellas four-dollar pattern coins are remnants of a move to recognize the Latin Monetary Union, an alliance of member nations which agreed to create an international coinage. While the US never formally joined, several efforts were made to conform US coinage to standards used more broadly.

In 1879, members of Congress proposed a four-dollar coin to compete globally with similarly valued pieces, including the French 20 franc coin, the Spanish 20 pesetas, the Dutch and Austrian 8 florins and the Italian 20 lire. To correspond with the proposed legislation, the US Mint struck pattern four dollar coins in 1879 and 1880. The four-dollar coin received an entirely new designation: “stella” (Latin for star). This was analogous to the term “eagle,” used for the ten-dollar denomination, both the star and the eagle being national emblems on our coins. The pattern coins had a unique design, and were made with two obverses, one with Flowing Hair engraved by Charles Barber and another with Coiled Hair by George Morgan.

The authorizing legislation for the stella ultimately failed in Congress. Today, only numismatists remember the dream of a universal coinage system that created these fascinating coins.
Slot Name
Origin/Country
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
Pics
View Coin 1879 Flowing Hair United States $4 1879 FLOWING HAIR J-1635 NGC MS 67 UC J-1635 (Gold Alloy)
View Coin 1879 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1879 J-1636 NGC PF 66 Red Brown J-1636 (Copper)
View Coin 1879 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1879 J-1637 NGC PF 67 J-1637 (Aluminum)
View Coin 1879 Coiled Hair United States $4 1879 COILED HAIR J-1638 NGC MS 67 CA J-1638 (Gold Alloy)
View Coin 1879 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1879 J-1639 NGC PF 66 Brown J-1639 (Copper)
View Coin 1879 Coiled Hair United States $4 1879 J-1639 GILT NGC MS 65 CA J-1639 GILT (Gilt)
View Coin 1879 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1879 J-1640 NGC PF 67 Cameo J-1640 (Aluminum)
View Coin 1879 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1879 J-1641 NGC PF 63 J-1641 (White Metal)
View Coin 1880 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 FLOWING HAIR NGC PF 67 Cameo J-1657 (Gold Alloy)
View Coin 1880 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1658 NGC PF 66 Red Brown J-1658 (Copper)
View Coin 1880 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1658 GILT NGC PF 63 J-1658 GILT (Gilt)
View Coin 1880 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1659 NGC PF 68 Cameo J-1659 (Aluminum)
View Coin 1880 Flowing Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1659 GILT NGC PF 65 J-1659 GILT (Gilt)
View Coin 1880 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 COILED HAIR NGC PF 65 Cameo J-1660 (Gold Alloy)
View Coin 1880 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1661 NGC PF 67 Brown, Cameo J-1661 (Copper)
View Coin 1880 Coiled Hair UNITED STATES $4 1880 J-1662 NGC PF 65 J-1662 (Aluminum)

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