Four Dollar Coin Pattern, United States,1879

Description
United States Mint, Philadelphia. Obverse: Liberty head with coiled hair, facing left; fineness around, date below. Reverse: Large star, denomination below. The four-dollar gold piece, or Stella, was the brainchild of the United States minister to Austria-Hungary, John A. Kasson. Kasson wanted an American gold coin that would trade on a par with a number of European counterparts, and the Stella seemed to be the answer.
Patterns were struck in a variety of metals, with two depictions of Liberty. George T. Morgan was responsible for this version, a goddess with coiled hair. Charles E. Barber contributed the second idea, a Liberty with flowing hair.
At the time, aluminum was popular as a pattern coinage metal. It was scarce, and it took a lovely impression from the dies. Experts call this piece a high Rarity-7, suggesting that four to six pieces exist.
[reference no. Judd 1640]
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
coin
Date made
1879
maker
U.S. Mint
Physical Description
gilt aluminum (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 21.6 mm; 27/32 in
Place Made
United States
ID Number
1993.0532.0003
accession number
1993.0532
catalog number
1993.0532.0003
subject
Coins, Currency and Medals
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Harvey G. and Lawrence R. Stack
Publication title
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/coins/glossary.cfm
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.