Plain Edge Judd-85 1838 Gobrecht Dollar, PR66
1838 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-85 Restrike, Pollock-94, High R.7,
Design. Die Alignment III (center of Liberty's head opposite
the N in ONE). Christian Gobrecht's Seated Liberty design, stars
around the periphery, C. GOBRECHT F. removed from the base. On the
reverse, after a coin turn the eagle flies level in a starless
field. Struck in silver with a plain edge.
One of Only Twelve Estimated Known
Commentary. Many variants of Gobrecht dollars were struck beginning in 1836, continuing in 1837, 1838, and 1839, picking up again in the late 1850s and continuing through the 1870s. Of these many issues the only date that is believed to actually have been coined as a pattern is the 1838. Close examination of the die alignment and die cracks on these coins led researchers Jim Gray and Mike Carboneau to the conclusion that only Die Alignment IV 1838 dollars (center of Liberty's head opposite the right side of the F in OF) were struck in 1838 or 1839. Very few such original pieces have been seen, and they are characterized by a lack of die cracks on the reverse. This particular coin shows die cracking that is even more advanced than on regular Judd-84 (1838 reeded edge) coins, indicating the plain edge variants were struck after the reeded edge dollars. On this piece the crack through the tops of MERI is advanced slightly to the left of the M and joins the top of the final A. Similarly, the crack from the top of TE on most Judd-84 dollars is seen here connecting the tops of ITED. The die crack that normally connects the bottoms of LAR is significantly advanced to the right of R, almost even with the period. The other usual reverse die characteristics are present on this piece: the die spur on the curve of the D and the depression on the lower part of the F. This advanced state of the dies would indicate that the plain edge (Judd-85) dollars were probably struck during Henry Linderman's second term as Mint director, sometime between 1873 and 1878.
Judd-85 Gobrecht dollars are rarely seen. Gray and Carboneau have estimated that only a dozen coins exist of this variant. The Julius Korein example, now in the ANS, graded PR63. This is the finest Judd-85 that has been certified even though it is numerically tied with another PR66.
Physical Description. As one would expect from a coin graded PR66 this piece has extraordinary eye appeal as well as surfaces that are nearly flawless. The fields are deeply mirrored, and there is just the slightest overlay of pale golden and lilac patina interspersed on each side. Sharply defined throughout. NGC Census: The two PR66 pieces mentioned above, with this designated piece being considered the finer. PCGS Population: PCGS has not graded an example of Judd-85 finer than PR64 (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: L.R. French Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1989), lot 17.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# BLXU, PCGS# 11354)
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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