1838 GOBRECHT DOLLAR (J84) TRIBUTE – 2 TROY OUNCE – 39MM
J84 – Name Omitted / Stars above Seated Liberty / No Stars on Reverse
Minted from 1836 to 1839, the Gobrecht Dollar was the first silver dollar produced for circulation since the denomination had officially been discontinued in 1806. To determine if the reintroduced silver dollar denomination would be well received by the public, the Gobrecht Dollar was struck in small numbers.
Robert M. Patterson was appointed Mint Director in 1835 after Samuel Moore resigned the post. Later that year, Chief Engraver William Kneass suffered a stroke, and Christian Gobrecht was hired as an engraver.
Almost immediately, Patterson began to attempt to redesign the nation’s coinage. Philadelphia artist Thomas Sully received a letter from Patterson describing his plan for the dollar coin. Patterson also asked Titian Peale to create a design for the coin. Sully created an obverse design with a seated representation of Liberty and Peale, a reverse design depicting a soaring bald eagle. These were both converted into coin designs by Gobrecht. In September of 1836, after the trials were struck, production began on the working dies.
A small quantity was struck for circulation, and the Mint received complaints about the prominent positioning of Gobrecht’s name, which was centered on the base below the seated Liberty. The design was then modified to move the engraver’s name to a less prominent position on the coin. Additionally, in January of 1837, the legal standard for the percentage of precious metal in silver was changed from 89.2% to 90%, and Gobrecht dollars struck after this date reflected the change. During the official production run, there were a total of 1,900 Gobrecht dollars struck. In 1840, the Seated Liberty dollar, which used the same obverse design, began mintage. Mint officials re-struck the Gobrecht dollar in the 1850s without authorization.
MINTAGE AND DIE VARIETIES
There were three major varieties on the obverse design:
- Engravers name prominently placed into the base of the seated Liberty
- Engravers name moved below the base and above the date
- Engravers name was omitted altogether
There were three major varieties on the reverse design:
- Bald Eagle flying through a field of stars (starry field).
- Bald Eagle flying through an empty field with no stars.
- Contains 2 oz. Troy of .999 Fine Silver
- Obverse: The head of Liberty with thirteen stars along the top circumference, and the word LIBERTY below.
- Reverse: Traditional laurel wreath and fasces encircle the outer circumference, with the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” above and below the inner circle of the wreath, and TWO TROY OUNCES in the center, with the hallmark below. The date is located at the bottom center.
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