An extremely rare $4 gold coin featuring the face of Lady Liberty is being auctioned off later this month in a sale that could fetch millions.
The auction house Bonhams is offering 27 valuable coins at a September 23 auction in Los Angeles, Calif. as part of a lot that could be worth $8 million, according to Yahoo! News. The crown jewel of the lot however is a $4 gold coin known as the Coiled Hair Stella, minted in 1880 and valued at up to $1.5 million.
Bonhams reports that this Coiled Hair Stella is tied for the finest known example of the gold coin and has been graded "perfectly preserved." It is also considered "exceptionally rare," according to the auction house, which notes that "the consensus of researchers is that no more than ten to fifteen were produced."
In an interview with Reuters, Paul Song, director of rare coins at Bonhams in Los Angeles, said the $4 coins were exceptionally beautiful, as well as valuable.
"I've never handled a collection that's worth potentially upwards of $6 million to $8 million total with only 27 lots," Song said. "That's an average lot value of almost $300,000 per coin. That may not be a Monet painting but in my world, that's pretty amazing. It's been a privilege to handle them, and they are gorgeous, just because they're gold, perfectly struck and the designs are really incredible."
In its description of the 1880 coin, Bonhams notes the exquisite craftmanship of a coin that also contains around six grams of pure gold:
The braided plait on top of Liberty's head is delicately and intricately engraved, and the portrait of Liberty is fully modeled and has a distinct individual personality. By contrast, the flowing hair design presents a more distant, cool effigy of Liberty with her hair more heavily engraved, both aspects of which are more in keeping with Barber's
The coins are available for public viewing from September 20 to 22.
Also on HuffPost:
$50 American Buffalo
First minted in 2006 primarily for investors and collectors, this coin with a face value of <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=674" target="_hplink">$50 was the first to be minted using pure 24-karat gold</a>.
$50 American Buffalo (Reverse)
American Eagle Platinum Coin
With face value ranging from $10 to $100, <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/index.cfm?action=american_eagles" target="_hplink">American Eagle coins have been minted in silver, gold and platinum</a> since 1986.
American Eagle Platinum Coin (Reverse)
Chief Justice John Marshall $500 Bill
The <a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/fun-trivia-facts-about-the-500-bill.html" target="_hplink">$500 bill, printed in 1918</a>, featured the face of Chief Justice John Marshall alongside a blue seal.
Chief Justice John Marshall $500 Bill (Reverse)
The reverse side depicts Hernando de Soto's discovery of the Mississippi River.
President William McKinley $500 Bill
President William McKinley could be found on the <a href="http://moneyfactory.gov/smallsize500gdenom.html" target="_hplink">$500 bill, printed in 1928 and 1934</a> (latter shown).
President William McKinley $500 Bill (Reverse)
This $1,000 bill, printed in 1918, features Alexander Hamilton, the current face of a the $10 bill. A <a href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/23692/100000-bill-story-behind-large-denomination-currency" target="_hplink">later series in 1928 featured President Grover Cleveland</a>.
$1,000 Bill (Reverse)
James Madison is featured on the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-19/brother-can-you-spare-a-100-000-bill-echoes.html" target="_hplink">$5,000 bill, printed in 1934</a>.
$5,000 Bill (Reverse)
The highest denomination to circulate publicly, the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-19/brother-can-you-spare-a-100-000-bill-echoes.html" target="_hplink">$10,000 bill was issued until 1946</a> and featured former Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase. While Chase's accomplishments were many,<a href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/23692/100000-bill-story-behind-large-denomination-currency" target="_hplink"> he chose his own portrait for the bill due to his presidential ambitions</a>, according to Mental Floss.
$10,000 Bill (Reverse)
The $100,000 Gold Certificate
President Woodrow Wilson is featured on the largest denomination of currency ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. While never circulated publicly, the bill is credited with helping to combat severe deflation <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-history-of-the-100000-bill-2013-1?op=1#ixzz2HfjnksSj" target="_hplink">during the height of Great Depression</a>, according to Business Insider. It was later featured on a <a href="http://gawker.com/5865292/john-baldessari-erects-fake-100000-bill-at-the-high-line" target="_hplink">billboard by artist John Baldessari</a> in 2011.
The $1 Trillion Coin
In theory, the minting of a trillion dollar coin (seen here in an artist's rendering) could help the U.S. government avoid a political standoff over the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/trillion-dollar-coin-solution_n_2426333.html" target="_hplink">debt ceiling by paying off government debts without further borrowing</a>. Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/8349514053/sizes/l/in/photostream/">DonkeyHotey, Flickr</a>