Rare Plain Edge Judd-105 1839 Gobrecht Dollar, PR651839 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-105 Restrike, Pollock-117, Low R.7, PR65 NGC.
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. almost completely 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.
Commentary. One of the most interesting and significant discoveries in the Gobrecht dollar series in the past few years was when John Dannreuther discovered in August 2007 that C. GOBRECHT F. had been removed from the base of the rock on which Liberty is seated. In more than 170 years of collecting these popular coins, no one else had apparently noticed. It is even more curious when one reads the statement by George Escol Sellers who stated 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." (Emphasis ours). The discovery of this obliteration also gives a guide to the striking sequence for the various dates of Gobrecht dollars. Most of Gobrecht's imprint was removed from the 1839 coins, but faint traces of the letter bottoms can still be seen. On the 1838 coins an even more vigorous effacement was done, and virtually nothing remains. The conclusion is that the 1839 dollars were actually struck prior to those dated 1838.
Original 1839 Gobrecht (Judd-104) dollars are believed to have been struck in December 1839. The rare restrikes, such as this coin, were undoubtedly struck decades later. While there is no documentation to support this, the texture of the coin certainly does. Unlike the Gobrecht dollars struck in the 1830s, this piece has mirrorlike fields that one would expect from a regular-issue coin struck in proof format from the 1850s through the 1870s. This piece is similar to the Queller 1838 Gobrecht dollar. That is to say, it is not the standard issue one would expect for the year. The vast majority of 1838 Gobrechts are Judd-84. Likewise, the standard 1839 encountered is a Judd-104. In both cases, he opted for the much-rarer plain-edge version. Approximately six to 10 examples are known of the Judd-105, compared to the 60 to 75 Judd-104 coins that are believed extant today. As with other Judd-105 dollars, this piece shows the same reverse diagnostics: a die crack through the tops of MERIC, NITE, into the field from the bottoms of AR, and a pronounced die spur on the right side of the D in UNITED.
Physical Description. As mentioned above, the fields are extraordinarily deep in their mirrored reflectivity. Each side retains much brilliance, with a slight overlay of color. The obverse shows just the slightest hint of pinkish-gold, while the reverse is notably deeper in hue and more varied, with occasional dabs of light blue. A few tiny planchet flakes can be seen in the obverse fields, but strong magnification is required. Otherwise, there are no mentionable interruptions in the surfaces on either side of this magnificent and rare Gobrecht dollar. In the Somerset catalog, this coin was listed as 411.9 grains, with a diameter of 1.504 inches. NGC Census: 2 in PR65, 1 finer. PCGS Population: One in PR65, none finer (12/08)
Provenance. Ex: Somerset Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1992), lot 1756.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# BLY7, PCGS# 11448)
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