1879 Stella Gold $4: Coiled Hair 

The 1879 Stella Gold $4 coin is a fascinating piece of American numismatic history, notable for its unique denomination and design.  

The Stella series was an experimental coinage project initiated by the United States Mint in the late 19th century, intended for international trade. 

The term "Coiled Hair" refers to a distinctive variety of the 1879 Stella Gold $4 coin, specifically on the obverse (front) side of the coin.  

In this variety, Liberty's hair is depicted in a tightly coiled bun at the back of her head, contrasting with the flowing hair design seen on the regular issues. 

Designed by Charles E. Barber, the obverse of the Stella features a profile portrait of Liberty facing left, wearing a coronet inscribed with the word "LIBERTY." The date "1879" is below the portrait, and there are 13 stars representing the original colonies around the edge. 

On the reverse (back) of the coin, an eagle with outstretched wings is depicted, surrounded by a cluster of stars and a wreath. The denomination "FOUR DOL" is inscribed within the wreath, representing the $4 value.

The Stella series was never officially circulated and was struck primarily as patterns for proposed international coinage.  

The Coiled Hair variety is particularly rare, as only a small number of specimens were produced, primarily for presentation purposes. 

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