1836 Name Below Base Gobrecht Dollar
1836 P$1 Name Below Base, Judd-58 Restrike, Pollock-61, R.6(?),
A Major Rarity in the Series
Design. Die Alignment IV (center of Liberty's head opposite right side of F in OF). Christian Gobrecht's Seated Liberty design, no stars in the field, C. GOBRECHT F. in the field below the base. On the reverse the eagle flies level in a starry field. Struck in silver with a plain edge.
Commentary. The Name Below Base Gobrecht dollar is an American classic. Much has been written about this issue over the past 150 years, including an apocryphal mintage of only 18 pieces. These coins have been highly sought after since striking and a considerable body of misinformation has grown up about them. Much research has been conducted over the past several years into the Gobrecht series, with special focus on the Name Below Base coins. The inescapable conclusions are that these pieces were restrikes made during the tenure of James Ross Snowden and that no original strikings were made in 1836 or 1837. This also means all the examples of Judd-58 will be seen in Die Alignment III (center of Liberty's head opposite N in ONE) or as seen here, in Die Alignment IV (center of Liberty's head opposite right side of F in OF).
It is impossible to unequivocally state when a particular Name Below Base dollar was struck. What is known, however, is that Die Alignment III coins show heavier die cracks than Die Alignment IV coins, leading to the conclusion that Die Alignment IV coins were struck first. The generally accepted time frame for the striking of these pieces is the late 1850s for Die Alignment IV pieces and the 1860s for those in Die Alignment III.
The popularity of the Name Below Base dollar was immediate. The first auction record that we are aware of is from the J.N.T. Levick Auction in December 1859 but that coin did not sell and was bought in by Mason at $32.50. The MacKenzie Sale in 1868 had the first Name Below Base that sold. That piece brought an astounding $90.00. This extraordinarily high price may well be because of the novelty of these pieces. Two years later, prices reached a more "realistic" level when dealer Edward Cogan bought one out of the Fewsmith auction for $35.
Probably fewer than 60 examples are known today of the Name Below Base Gobrecht dollar. These rare pieces are a cornerstone of any collection of Gobrecht dollars or 19th century set of silver dollars. They are generally found in PR60 or better grades, and this piece is above average.
Physical Description. As one would expect from a proof produced in the late 1850s, the fields are deeply mirrored on each side. This is apparent even through the multiple layers of deep blue, gray, and rose-golden toning that cover each side. The high points of the design are completely brought up, including Liberty's head, foot and sandal, and the eagle's breast feathers. Light hairlines account for the grade, but they are not apparent to the unaided eye because of the depth of toning. NGC Census: 1 in PR62, 9 finer. PCGS Population: 2 in PR62, 10 finer (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Stack's (10/1991), lot 840.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# BLWU, PCGS# 11217)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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