A rare US four dollar 'Coiled Hair Stella' gold coin from 1880 was auctioned at Bonhams in Los Angeles on Monday, eventually selling for $2.5 million, $1 million more than expected.
The coin contains six grams of pure gold. It was never released into circulation, unable to garner sufficient public support.
"The 1880 $4 Coiled Hair Stella is one of the so-called white whales of the coin collecting world. They are so rare, they come on the market maybe once or twice, at most, every decade," said Paul Song, director of rare coins at Bonhams.
Here's some colorful commentary on the coin a week prior to the sale: