This year marked experiments in the use of goloid alloys. Goloid was an alloy patented by Dr. Wheeler Hubbell and consisted of gold, silver and copper in various proportions. They were used in an attempt to make the silver dollar smaller and lighter and in the creation of the famous $4 gold piece or Stella for use as an international coinage. For additional information on the Stella, click here.
George T. Morgan designs are below. Sets were produced in goloid (about a dozen), copper (about a dozen), aluminum (4 or 5) and white metal (unique). We would like to see these pieces tested to see if they are really goloid or standard silver and gold.
These sets were repeated in 1880.
Charles Barber also created designs. Of his design, 15 sets were made for the Congressional Committee on Coinage presumably using the goloid alloys. These were apparently popular with congressman and another 400 sets were ordered which are believed to be of "standard" silver and gold. These sets were available to the congressman at $6.10. Unsold sets were later offered to the collecting world for $15. To view Barber's set, click here.
Morgan's design is much rarer. It is unclear if they were offered for the same price as Barber's. The earliest auction sale for this set was lot 631 of George Cogan's March 1882 sale of the J.C. Randall collection.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade, Bowers and Merena and Heritage.