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1836 $1 Gobrecht Dollar Original Judd-60 Die State B Die Alignment I

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Pillar of the Community
United States
9329 Posts
 Posted 09/29/2022  10:12 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was fortunate to be able to acquire this coin. This is a well known coin, so before you go look it up on the internet (I have linked the coin's certification details below), take a minute to examine it and give your thoughts on the grade so that we can continue the grading fun in this great forum. If you run into the coin, or click on the link below, please do not reveal the grade so that others can also weigh-in unencumbered by the TPG opinion. Thanks in advance.








1836 P$1 Name on Base, Judd-60 Original, Pollock-65, R-1. Ex: Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection. Silver. Plain Edge. Die Alignment I (center of Liberty's head is opposite the DO in DOLLAR). Die State B. The only visible defects are die chips in the dentils above the final A in AMERICA.

"Only 1000 of these dollars were stamped: they are, therefore, rarely met with." - Dr. John L. Riddell, A Monograph of the Silver Dollar, Good and Bad, 1845

The 1836 Gobrecht dollars are listed as patterns in all the standard references, but the coins were distributed commercially and should be considered circulating coinage. Contemporary evidence for this conclusion comes from Mint Director James Ross Snowden, who listed these coins among the regular issues in his 1860-dated monograph A Description of Ancient and Modern Coins in the Cabinet Collection at the Mint of the United States. The 1836 Gobrecht dollars are known in four different die alignments, both with and without stars on the reverse, and with the designer's name both on the base or in the field. Some of these issues are Originals and some are Restrikes, produced in later years. USPatterns.com considers the 1836 Name on Base Gobrecht dollars in Die Alignment I with the Starry Reverse as Originals, struck and distributed in December 1836.

The well-preserved surfaces of this spectacular coin are toned in attractive shades of silver-gray and golden-rose. Razor-sharp definition is evident on all design elements, even on the foot of Liberty. The fields are moderately reflective, as expected on Judd-60 Original dollars.

Harry Bass Jr.'s coin collection was better known for its U.S. gold examples that were on display from 2001 through 2022 at the ANA Money Museum in Colorado Springs after he passed away in 1998. He was an oil magnate, a political patron and a developer of ski resorts in Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado. At one time he is believed to have held a third of his net worth in his coin collection. The foundation that manages his collection is in the process of selling a large part of his collection in 2022 to support its core mission of helping non-profit organizations in the areas of youth and education with a focus on early childhood literacy. Happy to contribute to his legacy in support of these goals and steward a small part of his numismatic legacy into the future.

Ex: W.E. Leistner of New York Collection (Glendining's, 10/1970), lot 794; Mike Brownlee and John Rowe; Harry W. Bass, Jr. purchased this coin on 11/2/1970; Harry Bass Core Collection HBCC #6005.
From The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Core Collection, Part I.


Coin Index Numbers: ( NGC ID# BLWT, PCGS# 11225)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
View Certification Details from PCGS
https://www.PCGS.com/cert/46092739

Since dollar production was suspended in 1804, the silver dollar denomination had become unfamiliar in commerce in the decades preceding 1836, though Spanish 8 reales and other world coins of silver dollar size continued to circulate throughout the United States. In 1831, when the tide of bullion outflows to the Far East began to make the market for a domestically circulating dollar coin possible again, the ban on dollar production was lifted and the possibility of a dollar coin was reconsidered. With engraver William Kneass in poor health, the Mint was forced to wait until after the June 1835 appointment of Christian Gobrecht as assistant or "second" engraver. Gobrecht received design assistance from two of America's best known painters, Thomas Sully, who offered sketches of a seated figure of Liberty with cap and pole, and Titian Peale, who submitted several sketches of a "naturalistic eagle" whose flight was described by Mint Director Robert M. Patterson as "like the country of which it is the emblem, its course onward and upward." Gobrecht refined Sully's concept for the obverse and Peale's concept for the reverse, to which he added 26 stars, 13 large ones for the original colonies and 13 smaller ones for subsequent states, apparently anticipating the January 1837 entry of Michigan to the Union.

Dating Gobrecht dollars hinges upon their die alignment and die state. This example is struck in Die Alignment I, standard coin turn with the eagle pointing upward, marking it as an original striking from late 1836. The head of Liberty is opposite DO of DOLLAR. In this alignment, the pellet preceding ONE, on the left side of the reverse, is on a slightly lower plane than the pellet following DOLLAR on the right side of the reverse. The die state is equivalent to Dannreuther-Teichman-Sholley State H, showing the peripheral die markers located on the rim and among the denticles, and displaying a die scratch through O of ONE.

Long considered a pattern, modern numismatists recognize that the 1,000 Gobrecht dollars struck before December 31, 1836 were coined to serve in circulation. The Mint even conducted something of a press campaign on the new coin, as descriptions of "a new dollar of our own Mint" were published in New York as early as December 15, 1836, and spread nationwide over the course of the following month. Though 1836 Gobrecht dollars are called Proofs today because of their reflective surfaces, only a small group were set aside for presentation, including the example Mint Director Robert M. Patterson donated to the American Philosophical Society on December 16, 1836, and a small group purchased by President Andrew Jackson, one of which was offered most recently in 2002. The Korein-47 specimen at the American Numismatic Society has been called the "one true Proof" by John Dannreuther, Saul Teichman, and Craig Sholley. Most examples show significant wear, and gems are extremely rare.
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United States
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 Posted 09/29/2022  11:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Gobrecht dollar design is a combination of the ideal and the real. The obverse is an idealized rendering of Britannia that was designed by Thomas Sully, one of the country's finest artists. The reverse was realistic, showing an eagle in flight as it had never been rendered before. Titian Peale's "true to nature" eagle was described in a February 1836 letter to Mint Director Patterson:

"Titian has executed a design of an Eagle on the wing which is true to nature for it is drawn from the bird with rigid truth by the Camera Lucida at such a distance as to render the perspective almost invisible."

The key to the above passage is understanding how a Camera Lucida works. It is a fairly simple concept and one that has been used for centuries and is still in limited use today. It is beyond the scope of this description to describe its operation, but we strongly recommend a Google search of the term, which will greatly aid in understanding how Peale achieved such a lifelike rendering of the eagle.
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United States
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 Posted 09/29/2022  11:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MisterT to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Outstanding! I can only hazard a guess at PR-66. Looking forward to the reveal.
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 Posted 09/30/2022  12:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks MT.

Interesting that Titian Peale's eagle reverse wasn't adopted and the eagle from capped bust coinage was used for Seated coinage larger than the dime. But then suddenly the flying eagle came back in 1856 for three years to adorn the small cent obverse and recede back into obscurity forever.

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Edited by numismatic student
09/30/2022 12:13 am
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United States
8460 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  05:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Outstanding coin indeed. I can't identify any obvious flaws, so I speculate at PR66 as well.

It must bring you great collecting joy to be the steward of such a historic coin. Congratulations on the addition.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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United States
1014 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  07:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kenwright396 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful coin and find.
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United States
376 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  08:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ericgreen to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Stunning! Congrats! Won't even try to guess the grade here
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United States
4162 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  09:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, that is a dream coin. Congrats!
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United States
25630 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  10:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazing, you are now my hero. PR-65.
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United States
13322 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2022  10:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
maybe PF67
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2423 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2022  12:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My initial stab at it was surprisingly correct, but then I looked it up just to see the sold price (yikes) so I won't "guess." I'm amazed as how much some of them circulated - there's ones on Heritage graded PR15 and PR20! Amazing coin, congratulations.
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 Posted 10/01/2022  01:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jimbucks to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll stick my neck out and go with SP-66.
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 Posted 10/01/2022  02:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
PF67 is my guess. Wonderful coin! Congrats!
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United States
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 Posted 10/01/2022  09:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i think jimbucks is correct the accurate grade would be SP not PF
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 Posted 10/01/2022  10:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fenton to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll say SP-66. You should take it to various local dealers as a test, plead dumb, and see how many call it a "junk silver commemorative". The state of our brick and mortar industry is a bit sad.
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 Posted 10/01/2022  10:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.

Circulation argument: This coin is sort of interesting in that there is evidence from Mint Director Robert Patterson and associated press releases in December 1836, that the original J-60s were meant to be released into circulation and indeed did.

Proof argument: The coin has shiny surfaces and are graded by all TPGs as proofs.

Pattern argument: The coin is listed in USPatterns,com, the Judd and Pollock pattern references as patterns.

The answer is complicated and differs depending on the type of Gobrecht dollar you are looking at.

Jeff Garrett wrote a great article where he argues that the 1,000 1836 original strikes of that year are circulating coinage.
https://www.ngccoin.com/news/articl...echt-dollar/

He writes:

CIRCULATION and ORIGINAL ISSUES
1836 C. GOBRECHT F. on base, no stars obverse, 26 stars in reverse fields, plain edge 416 grains. Die alignment: eagle flies upward, coin turn; eagle flies level, coin and medal turn (Alignments I, II, and IV are originals). All alignments are with the uncracked reverse and are obviously originals. Judd-60


In December 1836 the United States Mint struck 1,000 coins for circulation. The coins weigh 416 grains, which was the standard as enacted in 1792. These coins are dated 1836 with C. GOBRECHT F. ("F" is an abbreviation for the Latin word fecit, or "made it," and is found on the base of the rock on which Miss Liberty is seated. Most of these coins are struck with the traditional coin turn. These coins clearly entered circulation as many are found in worn condition. High grade examples are scarce and sought after. Quite a few are found damaged, with holes repaired and other signs the coins were used as jewelry for their novelty. Many consider these to be the most desirable Gobrecht dollars as the coins are very rare for a circulation strike United States coin.

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Edited by numismatic student
10/01/2022 10:56 am
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