Gobrecht dollar, 1836 – 1839

Circulation strikes: 1,600
Proofs: estimated 100
Designer: Obverse by Thomas Sully, reverse by Titian Peale, both executed by Christian Gobrecht
Diameter: ±39 millimeters
Metal Content: Originals – 89.2 % Silver, 10.8% Copper
Restrikes – 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: Originals – ±416 grains (±27.0 grams)
Restrikes – ±412.5 grains (±26.7 grams)
Edge: Plain (except for a reeded edge on one Restrike variety)
Mintmark: None (all examples of this date were struck at the Philadelphia Mint)

The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint since production of that denomination was officially halted in 1806. The silver dollar was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well-received by the public.

In 1835 Robert M. Patterson assumed the position of the Director of the United States Mint. Patterson began an attempt to redesign the nation’s coinage. Christian Gobrecht was hired as an engraver. On August 1, Patterson wrote a letter to Philadelphia artist Thomas Sully laying out his plans for the dollar coin. He also asked Titian Peale to create a design for the coin. Sully created an obverse design depicting a seated representation of Liberty and Peale a reverse depicting a soaring bald eagle. After the designs were created and trials struck, production of the working dies began in September 1836.

After a small quantity was struck for circulation, the Mint received complaints regarding the prominent placement of Gobrecht’s name on the dollar, and the design was modified to incorporate his name in a less conspicuous position. In January 1837, the legal standard for the percentage of precious metal in silver coins was changed from 89.2% to 90%, and the Gobrecht dollars struck after that point reflect this change. In total, 1,900 Gobrecht dollars were struck during the official production run. Production of the Seated Liberty dollar, which utilized the same obverse design as the Gobrecht dollar, began mintage in 1840. In the mid-nineteenth century, Mint officials began restriking the coins without authorization.

Counterfeit Gobrecht dollar

Ebay Counterfeit 1836 Gobrecht Dollar

Ebay Listing Number: 110678345098
Listing Date: April, 2011
Item Location: China
Offered with an opening bid of $299. This counterfeit did not sell.

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