The 1880 Flowing Hair Stella gold $4 coin is a very rare and illegal pattern issue with high value for collectors today.
Features a dual dated obverse with flowing hair Liberty and an intricate coat of arms eagle reverse. Authorized but not issued for circulation.
Struck as a universal gold coin to be used for international trade. Decimal-based to align with the Latin Monetary Union standard.
Never officially issued. Despite authorization, deemed illegal as no federal law made them legal tender. Only 15 examples were preserved.
Low original mintage, estimated at 20 or less. High attrition rate. Around 12 authenticated survivors known today.
Trades for over $400,000 in average condition due to extreme rarity. Recently sold for $1.44 million at auction in perfect grade.
Other rare patterns like 1877 Half Union and 1849 Double Eagle extremely expensive. More affordable options include Amazonian.