Anybody want to go "halfsies" on this with me? I was poking around on Heritage and found this coin for sale for the low low price of $360,000. A Bit of History on the Four Dollar Gold Piece The Four Dollar Gold Piece is one of the scarcest as well as one of the more unusual coins in the history of the United States. Four dollar gold pieces were produced in the U.S for only 2 years (1879 and 1880) and are patterns not regular issue coins. These coins were also called Stellas (Latin for Star) a name derived from the five-pointed star on the reverse. Stellas were the brainchild John Kasson, U.S. Minister to Austria, who felt that a coin of this value would have been used by foreign travelers, as it could be readily exchanged for gold coins of approximate equivalent value (roughly 20 francs) in many western European countries. Stellas were minted soon after the twenty-cent piece had met its demise, the Stella was similarly intended for use in the Latin Monetary Union. Indicative of its intended international nature, the obverse legend tucked into the array of 13 stars, displayed the coins metallic content in the metric system as follows: * 6 * G * .3 * S * .7 * C * 7 * G * R * A * M * S * which could be translated to 6.0 Gold Grams 0.3 Silver Grams 0.7 Copper Grams 7.0 Total Grams Two obverse designs were produced. The Flowing Hair type was designed by Charles E. Barber (Chief Engraver of the U.S Mint at the time, and the later designer of the Barber coins) and the Coiled Hair type designed by by George T. Morgan (of the Morgan Silver Dollar fame). On the reverse, instead of IN GOD WE TRUST, the motto appears as DEO EST GLORIA, which translates to GOD IS GLORIOUS. A five-point star is inscribed with "ONE STELLA - 400 CENTS." On the outer rim is "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 4 DOL." just for an added measure of redunancy. Mintages of the various issues are not known with certainty, however it is believed that the original mintages of the two design types of $4 gold Stellas were as follows (all were struck as Specimen or Proof Coins): 1879 Flowing Hair......15* 1879 Coiled Hair.......10 1880 Flowing Hair......15 1880 Coiled Hair.......10 After the first 15 were minted in 1879 specimens were made available to congressmen for $6.50 each. *These coins became so popular amongst congressmen that an estimated 400 to 600 were restruck the following year from the 1879 Flowing Hair design. One problem with the restrikes is the mint could not seem to maintain the original weight of the coin (108 grains). The restruck pieces varied in weight from 103 to 109 grains. As an epilogue for the $4 gold Stella, was a bit of a congressional scandal. Documented by several newspapers was the fact that while coin collectors were unable to acquire the $4 gold Stella coins from the Mint at any price, congressmen were able to acquire these for $6.50 each (the cost of production) and having these coins made into jewelry pendants. These pendants were not later seen gracing the necks of their wives, but instead were more commonly displayed as trophies fby some of the more prominent madams of favored bordellos. There are several dozen coins, known, found with markings of the jewelry mountings. This caused an uproar at the time, and since the U.S. never did join the Latin Monetary Union, it was probably the most attention the Stella received. Like most pattern coins, these coins never made it into circulation, yet oddly have been incorporated into the regular series of U.S. gold coins (not pattern coins) in most U.S. Coin Guide Books. Today, such coins are nearly forgotten by most, exceedingly rare, and accordingly expensive.