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Description

Scarce, High Grade 1838 Gobrecht Dollar
PR64, The
Red Book Plate Coin

1838 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-84 Original, Pollock-93, R.5, PR64 NGC. Silver. Die Alignment III (coin turn, center of Liberty's head opposite the N in ONE). Although it is not identified on the label, this coin is the Judd-84 plate coin that is photographed in the 8th and 9th editions of the new Judd book on patterns. Generally, the coin exhibits medium brown toning on both sides; however, when the coin is tilted in the light at the correct angle, there appears a ring of color that surrounds the reverse legend and a faint circular toning mark midway between the eagle's right wing and the ES in STATES. Both of these toning characteristics are duplicated in the Judd book photos.
Unlike the circulation issues of 1836 (Judd-60) and 1839 (Judd-104), no 1838 dollars were intentionally made for public distribution. The main purpose of the 1838 dollars was to test two new design features: (1) a reeded edge, and (2) the removal of the 26 stars from the reverse of the 1836 dollar and the placement of 13 stars around the obverse. It is clear that the dies for the 1838 dollar were made in 1838; however, it is not certain how many (if any) 1838 dollars were actually struck in 1838. Only one original specimen is known, and this coin is a part of the U.S. Mint Collection now retained by the Smithsonian. However, the Smithsonian specimen exists in Die Alignment IV orientation (not Alignment I), and was struck from perfect (uncracked) dies. All 1838 dollars that have been observed in other museum collections or in private hands appear to be restrikes made in the late 1850s under the authority of Director James Ross Snowden, or in the late 1860s by Director H. R. Linderman. Like the present specimen, the restrikes were made to satisfy collector demand for these beautiful coins. The restrikes are generally found in Die Alignment III orientation (i.e., head of Liberty opposite the NE of ONE); however, a few restrikes were also made in Die Alignment IV. Although the exact mintage of 1838 dollars is unknown, recent estimates suggest that fewer than 250 coins were ultimately struck, and that only a small fraction of these coins survive today. The restrikes can be distinguished from the originals by the presence of a faint die crack through portions of MERI. Likewise, the current coin has a faint die crack through the top of the letters MERI in AMERICA.
Ex: Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, July 1997), lot 242. (PCGS# 11350)

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
9th-12th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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Gobrecht Dollars Illustrated by the Collection of Julius Korein

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