Unique Judd-107 1839 Gobrecht Dollar, PR66 Brown
1839 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-107 Restrike, Pollock-119, R.8, PR66
Brown NGC. Copper. Plain Edge. Stars Obverse, No Stars Reverse.
Die Alignment III (head of Liberty opposite the N in ONE). Judd-107
is essentially a Judd-105 struck in copper. While struck in
different metals, both the Judd-105 and 107 share the same starless
reverse and plain edge. The reverse die cracks are microscopic, but
located left of M and extending through MERI terminating to the
right of I, connecting the tops of NITED, and through the bottom of
LAR. The die spur on the right side of the D in UNITED is also
present as well as the depression in the field below and to the
right of the F in OF. Several stars on the left side of the obverse
are double-punched: star 3 slightly, 5 and 8 (both show
considerable rotation). This is the same star repunching as seen on
Judd-104s. At the microscopic level there is pimply evidence of die
rust, undoubtedly from using a 30-40 year old pair of dies.
Stars Obverse, No Stars Reverse in Copper
Last Offered 38 Years Ago
The die state of this piece is similar to that on the later state 1839 Judd-104 restrikes, Judd-105, and all the other mules. These other starless reverse issues as well as all other Gobrecht mules, also known as the Reverse of 1838, show the same die spur on the right side of the D in UNITED. Judd-64, 87, and 107 all show the same field depression below and to the right of the F in OF, which is believed to be from foreign matter that adhered to the die at the time of striking. This depression is not seen on any silver Gobrecht dollars, and its presence on these three copper issues suggests a common striking period for them. There is an interesting annotation in Samuel Chapman's copy of Adams-Woodin as quoted in the Champa II Sale (Bowers and Merena, 3/1995). Next to AW61-63 Chapman noted, "Mules by the Snowden-Thatcher (?) gang 1874-1880." This is the equivalent of AW-87, but the point is still taken that mules (generally speaking and not just limited to those dated 1838) were struck in this 1874-1880 time frame.
This coin appears to be unique. No other example has surfaced since this coin was first sold at public auction in 1908. It is the only piece certified by the major grading services in Brown, Red and Brown, or Red. To underline the significance of this unique dollar, it was one of only two Gobrecht issues and mules missing from the fabulous collection assembled by the late Dr. Julius Korein. Dr. Korein's collection was donated to the ANS and the plans are for the core collection to remain there. This piece has been in the same collection and has not been offered at public auction since 1972 and thus was never on the market during Dr. Korein's collecting career.
For more than 100 years this coin has only been in only four collections that we are aware of. It first appeared in the Peter Gschwend Collection in 1908. Gschwend stopped collecting coins around 1871 and consigned his collection to Tom Elder. This coin is listed on the last page of the catalog as an Addenda lot. It almost certainly was not a part of Gschwend's collection, but rather a last-minute addition from another source. That one Addenda page contains several significant Gobrecht rarities. The coin then passed to Virgil Brand, the wealthy beer magnate.
The third collector to own this piece was the well-known playboy-king of Egypt, King Farouk. With the royal treasury at his disposal, Farouk was able to purchase whatever rarities were offered to him. He was by far the biggest buyer of U.S. and world rare coins in the 1930s and 1940s. Farouk's ambitions and rule came to an end in 1952 when he was overthrown by Gamal Nasser. His coins were sold two years later. This coin was carelessly cataloged (as were all of Farouk's coins) as:
"1839, another in copper, edge plain, A.W. 83 A, unpublished. Extremely Fine."
The fourth collector to own this piece assembled the collection of 11 pieces in this auction. This is one of the three Gobrechts that are one-of-a-kind from that collection: the 1838 struck over an 1859 dollar, the 1839 struck on an adjusted planchet, and this coin. This piece was purchased by the consignor sometime prior to 1966.
The surfaces are deep brown overall with a slightly variegated hue. The coin was lightly hairlined, but its appearance is more pleasing than most ex: Farouk coins. The hairlines are only apparent when the coin is closely examined. The fields retain much of the original proof brightness and they shine through the layers of brown when angled just so beneath a light. The only pedigree identifier of any note is a small spot in the lower right obverse field between Liberty's knee and star 13. The striking details are complete in all areas, including Liberty's head, foot, and the eagle's breast feathers.
It has been 38 years since collectors have had the opportunity to acquire this unique copper Gobrecht dollar. Its availability in the future is anything but certain. The serious collector of this series should make every effort to acquire this rarity, as this is likely a brief window of opportunity.
Ex: Peter Gschwend Collection (Tom Elder, 6/1908), Addenda lot F; Virgil Brand inventory # 44164; The Palace Collection/Farouk (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1729; purchased out of Farouk by dealer/collector James Randall; Kagin's (10/1966), lot 1595, unsold; Kagin's (5/1969), lot 212, where it brought $3,600; Kagin's (9/1972), lot 50, unsold. Unplated in the Kagin's catalogs. (NGC ID# BLYC, PCGS# 11462)
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