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1839 Gobrecht Dollar, PR64, Judd-104
Toned and Deeply Mirrored

Scarce Die Alignment III

1839 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-104 Restrike, Pollock-116, R.3, PR64 NGC. Silver. Reeded Edge. Die Alignment III (head of Liberty opposite the N in ONE after a coin turn). This is a very early reverse die state. Strong magnification shows a microscopic crack at the top of UNITE and no die spur on the upper right part of the D in UNITED. Apparently only one reverse die was used on all Starless Reverse dollars from Judd-104 through 107. It is found in varying states, from uncracked (obvious 1839 originals) to extensively cracked restrikes that are believed to date to the 1859-1885 era. Die Alignment III dollars are identified as later restrikes. Yet this must have been one of the first Die Alignment III coins struck, as seen from the single microscopic die crack. Die Alignment III restrikes are much rarer than their DA IV counterparts with only 18-20 pieces estimated known.
The always-quotable Yogi Berra said: "You can observe a lot by just watching." The same can be said for Gobrecht dollars. Two years ago John Dannreuther was at lot viewing and noticed something that had passed unnoticed for 170 years: The base on which C. GOBRECHT F. had been engraved on the 1836 dollars had been effaced on an 1839 dollar, removing almost (but not quite all) of the engraver's name. The 1838 dollars showed more thorough removal. Yet all three dates are from the same master die. The removal of Gobrecht's name from the base of his famous dollar is reinforced by George Escol Sellers in the book Early Engineering Reminiscences (1815-1840). Sellers was related to the Peale family and Franklin Peale was his uncle, placing Sellers in a position to know some of the inner workings of the Mint during this period. He wrote that Gobrecht, "had taken the inexcusable liberty of placing his name on the die, which became conspicuous on the coin, and the coinage had to be stopped until it could be obliterated." Another interesting observation that has been unknown until recently is the 1839 dollars have a 9 that was created by inverting the 6 number punch from 1836. Both dates display a tiny spine that connects the ball to the circle. This same punch was also used on the 1836 Name Below Base strikings.
As one would expect from a later restriking period, most Die Alignment III 1839 dollars are found in high grades. This coin is especially well-preserved. The fields are deeply reflective and the mirroring from the proof finish is abundantly evident through the deep, mottled blue and golden toning that covers each side. Close examination reveals a few light hairlines, but these are consistent with the grade and in no way impair the appeal of this high grade dollar. The striking details are strong throughout. There are no obvious contact marks, but again a magnifier will show a string of three tiny marks in the field below the ES of STATES. (NGC ID# BLY5, PCGS# 11446)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
11th-15th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,112

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Gobrecht Dollars Illustrated by the Collection of Julius Korein

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