$4 Stella coin makes $2.5 million and world record-breaking prices realized at Bonhams Coin auction

Coins and Medals 23 Sep 2013
Los Angeles
Coins and Medals

$4 Stella coin makes $2.5 million and world record-breaking prices realized at Bonhams Coin auction

Coins and Medals 23 Sep 2013
Los Angeles

Bonhams shatters Coin auction price records

1880 Coiled Hair Stella brings record $2,574,000

1879 Coiled Hair Stella brings record $1,041,300

Sale total: $10,778,040

Los Angeles — Bonhams is delighted to announce the sensational "white glove" results of the "Tacasyl Collection of Magnificent United States Proof Gold Coins" sold on September 23 in their Los Angeles salesroom. This collection of 27 lots represented a virtually complete collection of every major gold design type issued in proof in the US between 1836 and 1915 and realized $10,778,040 with every lot sold. The astounding $399,186 lot average represents a world record for a rare coin collection on a per lot basis (nearly doubling the previous record).

Leading the set was the 1880 Coiled Hair Stella. This example, one of the very finest known, brought an astonishing $2,574,000 (more than doubling the presale estimate). Making this Stella one of the ten most expensive US coins ever sold at auction (based on the Red Book 250 Top Auction prices). This price placed it in the vaunted company of the 1933 Double Eagle, the 1794 Silver Dollar, 1804 Silver Dollar, 1913 Nickel and Brasher Doubloons.

The 1879 Coiled Hair Stella nearly doubled the previous high for the design and date while realizing a phenomenal $1,041,300. And the 1880 Flowing Hair Stella also doubled the previous record for the type selling for $959,400. The four coin set sold for an aggregate price of an amazing $4,855,500.

Other highlights included the 1891 Proof Double Eagle (NGC Proof 68* Ultra Cameo), which set a new world record as the most valuable Liberty Head Proof Double Eagle ever sold at auction at $655,200. In addition, the Saint-Gaudens high relief double eagle is one of the most coveted coins in the entire US series. The Tacasyl example (NGC Proof 69) one of the very finest in existence set a new world record for a proof high relief (beating its own record set in 2005) at $573,300.

Finally the sale closed with the Double Eagles. The Type one Liberty Double Eagle, 1863 (NGC Proof 65 Cameo) brought $345,150 and set an auction record for the date. The last two lots of the sale the Saint Gaudens design double eagles both easily exceeded their pre-sale high estimates, the 1909 (NGC Proof 68) brought $184,860, and the 1911 (NGC Proof 68) brought $157,950.

Paul Song, Director of the rare Coins and Medals Department at Bonhams, said of the sale: "I am stunned and delighted. Having been entrusted with the opportunity to sell the Tacasyl Collection is personally one of the highlights of my career, and the more I got to work with the collection I realized just how special each and every coin in the collection was. The fact that probably more than 75% of the sale was bought directly by collectors is testament to the phenomenal nature of the collection. The sale proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that superb quality and great rarity are a magical mix."


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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