The $4 Gold ‘Stella’ (Latin for star) was created as America’s answer to various foreign gold coins popular in the international market, and was a pattern coin made for Congress as a sample for a proposed international trade coin. The Stella was struck for Congressmen to examine and were not available from the U.S. Mint. However, these gold Stellas began showing up around the necks of some of Washington’s most famous Madams, causing quite a scandal for Congressman who visited those brothels. Two obverse designs were produced, the Flowing Hair type by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, Charles E. Barber, depicts Liberty with long, flowing hair, and the Coiled Hair type by George T. Morgan (of Morgan Dollar fame) differs only in that Liberty’s hair is tied in a bun. On both designs, Liberty is encircled by the lettering 6G, .3S, .7C, 7 GRAMS, stating the proportions of gold, silver and copper in the coin. The Reverse features a large five-pointed star with the incuse inscription ONE STELLA, 400/CENTS. The U.S. motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, and the Latin motto DEO EST GLORIA (God is Glorious) encircle the star, with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FOUR DOL. Surrounding the coin’s edge.

FMV Prices for Rare Coin Price Guide last updated 01/26/2023
$4 Gold StellasFMV
1879 Flowing Hair$134,380 $148,130 $169,380 $190,630 $243,750
1879 Flowing Cameo$140,630 $153,130 $181,250 $216,880 $256,250
1879 Flowing Deep Cameo $168,750 $195,630 $250,000 $275,000
1879 Coiled Hair$256,250 $300,000 $406,250 $500,000 $731,250
1879 Coiled Hair Cameo $687,500 $843,750
1880 Flowing Hair$162,500 $168,750 $206,250 $343,750 $450,000
1880 Flowing Cameo $318,750 $418,750 $562,500
1880 Flowing Deep Cameo $500,000
1880 Coiled Hair$550,000 $625,000 $668,750 $937,500 $1,062,500
1880 Coiled Hair Cameo

Grade Abbreviations

Numismatic Abbreviations