Loading Spinner

United States $1, $3, $4 Gold Coins

United States $1 gold coins were a brief and fairly unpopular series minted between 1849 to 1889. The concept for the $1 gold coin was originally proposed by Alexander Hamilton in 1791. It was supposed to run alongside the $1 silver coin to represent the two legal tender precious metals at one of the most commonly used dollar amounts. Three variations on the $1 gold coin exist, all of which were designed by James Longacre, the fourth chief engraver.

The $3 gold coin, also designed by Longacre, only had one style across its lifespan. However, it did have several important variations such as the 1873 open and closed 3 varieties. Minted from 1854 to 1889, the $3 coin was widely unpopular and only really found use on the West Coast where paper money was scarce and rarely used. One of the biggest obstacles to the $3 coin was the existence of the more popular quarter eagle, or $2.50 gold piece.

Stellas, as the $4 gold coins were known both officially and colloquially, were pattern coins that were never meant to be released. Several hundred were sold illicitly to congressmen and entered circulation thereafter. Originally designed with an eye towards joining the Latin Monetary Union in 1879 and 1880, Stellas were produced in two variations designed by Charles Barber and George Morgan.


Quick Facts

  • The first run of the $1 gold coin ranks as the smallest legal tender United States coin ever minted. The diameter is just 12.7 millimeters
  • The sales record for a $3 coin is currently held by an 1855-S cameo proof, which sold at auction in 2011 for just over $1.3 million
  • An 1880 Stella sold at auction for $1,821,250 in April 2015. The particular pattern auctioned is believed to be one of only 10 ever made

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

1879 $4 Gold Coin
Oct 07, 8:00 AM CST
1879 $4 Gold Coin
by Phoenix Integrity Auction
Est: $0- $0
$1,90015 Bids
1911 D Gold 2 ½ Dollar Indian – PCGS MS 63 Strong D
Oct 13, 5:30 PM EDT
1911 D Gold 2 ½ Dollar Indian – PCGS MS 63 Strong D
by Redding Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$32010 Bids
1851 US 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
Oct 02, 10:00 AM EDT
1851 US 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
by Imperial Auction
Est: $300- $400
$1607 Bids
1856 US INDIAN PRINCESS 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
Oct 02, 10:00 AM EDT
1856 US INDIAN PRINCESS 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
by Imperial Auction
Est: $300- $400
$1507 Bids
1853 US 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
Oct 02, 10:00 AM EDT
1853 US 1 DOLLAR GOLD COIN
by Imperial Auction
Est: $300- $400
$1407 Bids
1869 $3 Gold. PCGS AU53
Oct 07, 8:00 AM CST
1869 $3 Gold. PCGS AU53
by Phoenix Integrity Auction
Est: $0- $0
$1105 Bids
1903 LA Purchase McKinley Gold Dollar NGC-MS63
Oct 02, 12:30 PM CDT
1903 LA Purchase McKinley Gold Dollar NGC-MS63
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$3003 Bids
1853 Rare Gold Dollar CHOICE BU
Oct 02, 12:30 PM CDT
1853 Rare Gold Dollar CHOICE BU
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$2253 Bids
1854 Rare Gold Dollar UNCIRCULATED
Oct 02, 12:30 PM CDT
1854 Rare Gold Dollar UNCIRCULATED
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$3003 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1853-O Gold Dollar $1 Graded au58+ By SEGS (fc)
Oct 03, 11:00 AM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1853-O Gold Dollar $1 Graded au58+ By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins
Est: $375- $750
$252 Bids
1851 Rare Gold Dollar UNCIRCULATED
Oct 07, 5:00 PM CDT
1851 Rare Gold Dollar UNCIRCULATED
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$52 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1849 CLOSED WREATH Gold Dollar TY-I $1 Graded ms64 By SEGS (fc)
Oct 03, 11:00 AM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1849 CLOSED WREATH Gold Dollar TY-I $1 Graded ms64 By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$3252 Bids
1852 $1 LIBERTY HEAD GOLD COIN
Oct 16, 3:00 PM PDT
1852 $1 LIBERTY HEAD GOLD COIN
by Midnight Sun Antique Auction
Est: $300- $400
$1102 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1853 Gold Dollar TY-I $1 Graded ms63+ By SEGS (fc)
Oct 02, 11:00 AM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1853 Gold Dollar TY-I $1 Graded ms63+ By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins
Est: $437- $875
$3502 Bids
1852 Rare Gold Dollar NGC-MS62
Oct 02, 12:30 PM CDT
1852 Rare Gold Dollar NGC-MS62
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$51 Bid
1854 $1.00 Gold Indian Princess Head Coin
Nov 19, 10:00 AM EST
1854 $1.00 Gold Indian Princess Head Coin
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
1854 $1.00 GOLD
Oct 05, 12:00 PM EDT
1854 $1.00 GOLD
by R Howard Collectibles
Est: $875- $975
$11 Bid
1855 $1.00 GOLD
Oct 05, 12:00 PM EDT
1855 $1.00 GOLD
by R Howard Collectibles
Est: $1,275- $1,500
$11 Bid
1869 $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin
Oct 05, 8:00 AM PDT
1869 $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin
by BK Auctions
Est: $2,100- $2,400
$11 Bid
1857-S $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin PCGS VF30
Oct 02, 7:00 AM PDT
1857-S $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin PCGS VF30
by BK Auctions
Est: $2,100- $2,400
$11 Bid
1855-S $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin NGC G4
Oct 04, 8:00 AM PDT
1855-S $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin NGC G4
by BK Auctions
Est: $1,200- $1,400
$11 Bid
1855 $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin
Oct 04, 8:00 AM PDT
1855 $3 Indian Princess Head Gold Coin
by BK Auctions
Est: $2,100- $2,400
$11 Bid
1854 Type 2 $1 Liberty Head Gold Dollar Coin
Oct 04, 8:00 AM PDT
1854 Type 2 $1 Liberty Head Gold Dollar Coin
by BK Auctions
Est: $475- $550
$11 Bid
1878 $3 Gold Piece LIGHTLY CIRCULATED
Oct 02, 12:30 PM CDT
1878 $3 Gold Piece LIGHTLY CIRCULATED
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell United States $1, $3, $4 Gold Coins


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

BK Auctions

BK Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions