The balance of a bimetallic system is weakened in the long term because it depends on the relative abundance of the two metals. The coinage act of 1873 is the attempt of a reaction by the US congress forced by low silver price to consider the adoption of the gold standard. The consequences of the repeal of silver had not been anticipated and the monetary crisis goes to a crash.
In 1877, a patent is filed for the goloid, a gold and silver alloy with some copper to improve the strength.
The 1879 stella is a development project for a partial substitution to the dollar in the high denominations. The US minister to Austria had suggested to calibrate the weight of the currency with the metric system extensively used in Europe. The stella of US $ 4 shall correspond to 8 florins.
Tests were made in 1879 with a new design that is the subject of a competition between the engravers. These gold stellas are certainly presented to congressmen to push the project. The final interruption of the stella in 1880 responds to common sense. Multiplication by 4 is not natural in the circulation of currencies and the dollar and the florin have no reason to maintain a parity in the long term.
The double eagle is the common multiplier between the dollar and the stella since 5 stellas are worth 20 dollars. Tests were made also in 1879 by changing the wording without changing the picture. The goloid offers no advantage over the pure metal and will not be used in a regular coinage.
The 5 specimens of quintuple stellas remained in mint condition, graded between PR 62 and PR 64+. One of them graded PR 62 by PCGS was sold for $ 860K including premium by Heritage in January 2007.
A collector owned the best two units, both in deep cameo condition. He keeps the coin graded PR 64+ by PCGS. He now sells its duplicate, graded PR 64 by PCGS also. It is listed for sale on May 19 in New Orleans by Legend Rare Coin Auctions. It is estimated $ 1.6M, lot 377.
SOLD for $ 1.6M before fees