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Description

1836 Name Below Base Gobrecht Dollar
Judd-58, PR64+
One of the Finest Examples Known

1836 P$1 Name Below Base, Judd-58 Restrike, Pollock-61, R.6(?), PR64+ PCGS. CAC. Die Alignment IV (center of Liberty's head opposite right side of F in OF). Years ago, the Name Below Base Gobrecht dollars were thought to have been the original design from 1836, a logical conclusion since the coin bears that date. However, the fabric of the coins is different from that seen on dollars actually struck in 1836. Looking further into the matter, there were no Name Below Base dollars in the Roper Sale in 1851. The first listing of these coins was in Joseph Mickley's Dates of United States Coins, and Their Degrees of Rarity, published in 1858. The following year Edward Cogan sold the first Name Below Base at auction in his Levick Sale.

The die used to strike the Name Below Base dollars was adapted from one from 1838 or 1839 that had Gobrecht's name effaced from the rocky base below the figure of Liberty. Close examination with a strong magnifier reveals very faint traces of lettering still on the base. The exact reason for the Mint's creation of these pieces is unknown. It may have been to create a fictitious "original" design that could be marketed by the Mint to collectors of the day. However, collectors in the mid-19th century were astute enough to know these coins were not 1836 creations. In fact, they later came to realize the die cracks that accompany many of the earlier strikes were polished away on coins struck in the 1870s. This piece is an earlier striking, probably 1858-59, that shows die cracks on the reverse through NITED STATES OLLA, and the tiny die crack is evident above the eagle's wing that points toward the O in OF.

This well-preserved near-Gem displays bright mirrorlike fields beneath the hazy gray-rose toning that covers each side. The strike is strong in most areas, the only exception being the hair detail on the head of Liberty, which is slightly soft. Both sides are remarkably free from contact marks. Of the estimated 70 Name Below Base dollars struck, it is believed that perhaps 60 remain today in all grades. This is clearly one of the finest known. (NGC ID# BLWU, PCGS# 11217)

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Auction Dates
August, 2013
8th-10th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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Page Views: 1,454

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