This rare and beautiful gold piece is a pattern coin -- a trial strike of a proposed design that was never released for circulation. The $4 denomination, known as a Stella, was first suggested by the Hon. John A. Kasson, America’s Minister to Austria at the time. Charles E. Barber, who designed many of America’s historic coins, also designed this Flowing Hair Stella.The design was struck as a pattern coin in gold, aluminum, copper and white metal. Because mintage of the Flowing Hair Stella pattern strike was very low and the coin was never produced for circulation, this coin is extremely rare. In 1880, through connections at the Mint, a coin dealer named S. K. Harzfeld discovered that 150 of the 1879 coins had not been distributed. Otherwise, the Mint horde may never have been available to collectors. This replica coin is minted of brass then layered with pure 24k gold.