The Robbins Collection Of Classic US Gold Coins
On Offer At Bonhams New York

17 Dec 2013, Coins and Medals Featuring the Robbins Collection of US Gold Coins
Coins and Medals Featuring the Robbins Collection of US Gold Coins

The Robbins Collection Of Classic US Gold Coins
On Offer At Bonhams New York

17 Dec 2013, Coins and Medals Featuring the Robbins Collection of US Gold Coins
1879 Flowing Hair $4 Proof 62 Cameo NGC
A classic design by George Morgan, founded in a proposal by Representative John Adam Kasson for international coinage. The bright, reflective surfaces exhibit a pronounced cameo effect against the frosted devices. An interesting note: NONE of the typical striations are present on the obverse, with only a couple visible on the reverse star under very close examination. Could this be one of the 15 Originals which supposedly show no striations that were allegedly coined in 1879? It is thought that somewhere between 400 and 800 additional examples were struck in 1880 for distribution to selected politicians and others. One of the most popular of all American coins, enough to make Stellas one of the few Patterns included among regular issue coins in most reference books, The Guidebook to U.S. Coins, a notable example.

The Stellas are "international" not in their conformity to other world gold coins, but in the fact that they state their weight and the relative proportions of gold and silver on their face. Presumably, gold was more appreciated worldwide in 1879 than were U.S. dollars, thus it was easier to determine the value of 6 grams of pure gold than it was to convert $4 based on some market or government-imposed rate. Regardless of intent, the Stella experiment failed and was abandoned. Ultimately, the dollar became an international currency all on its own, not due to experiments such as this, but because of the strength and stability of U.S. markets. (PCGS 8057)

New York - Bonhams is pleased to announce the sale of the Robbins Collection of Classic US Gold Coins on December 17 in the Coins and Medals auction at the Madison Avenue galleries. The exquisite Robbins Collection is comprised of more than 300 fine examples painstakingly assembled by a private West Coast Collector, and comes on the heels of Bonhams record-breaking auction of the Tacasyl Collection of Proof Gold Coins held in June at Bonhams Los Angeles.

Several classic rarities will be offered in this auction, including two examples of the 1879 Proof $4 Flowing Hair Stella Coin (est. $80,000-120,000 and $150,000-200,000 respectively). Produced at the end of the 19th century by the United States Mint in an attempt to join the so-called Latin Monetary Union, Stellas were never approved for circulation. Both examples have been graded Brilliant Proof by NGC.

Of equal if not greater standing is a rare Panama-Pacific 1915-S 5 Coin Set with original Shreve and Company copper frame (est. $160,000-200,000). The half dollar, gold dollar, quarter eagle, $50 octagonal and $50 round are all graded between MS63 to MS65 by PCGS or NGC. The set was purchased by the collector at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

Additional highlights from the Robbins Collection include an extensive run of original quality $20 Double Eagles, minted between 1850 and 1928, ranging in grade from Very Fine to Gem Brilliant Uncirculated, including the 1907 High Relief (est. $14,000-18,000). Also available is an original United States Assay Office Gold $50 (12,000-15,000), .887 reverse , multiple original Proof Sets from 1936-1940 ($6,000-7,000 each), an 11 piece Gold Commemorative Set (est. $14,000-18,000), among others outstanding examples.

Paul Song, Director of the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, stated, "Bonhams is delighted to have been entrusted with this lovely private collection, put together during the first half of the 20th century, with many of the coins being purchases from famed West Coast Dealer Abe Kosoff. All the coins have been off the market for at least 70 years, making this a rare opportunity for collectors to purchase a piece with exceptional provenance."

The Robbins Collection of Classic US Gold Coins will be offered in the December 17 Coins and Medals auction at Bonhams New York. The auction will preview at Bonhams New York from December 14-17, and by appointment at Bonhams Los Angeles and Bonhams San Francisco.

A fully illustrated catalog will be available at


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

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