SEATED DOLLARS - GOBRECHT TYPE (1836-1839)
1835 Mint Director Robert M. Patterson ordered Engraver Christian
Gobrecht to begin to prepare dies for the dollar. Patterson
wanted Gobrecht to use designs by artists Thomas Sully and
Titian Peale. The first die was dated 1836. It used the Seated
Liberty motif and had the inscription C. GOBRECHT F. in the
field above the date. The F. was for the Latin word Fecit
meaning “made it.” The reverse had a large flying
eagle that was surrounded by 26 stars and the legend UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA . ONE DOLLAR. We do not know when the coins
from these dies were struck. Gobrecht prepared a new die with
his name this time on the base of Liberty.
In December 1836, 1000 of
these coins were struck for circulation. These coins weighed
26.96 grams, the same weight as the previous issue. The next
year the weight requirement was lowered to 26.73 grams, which
remained in effect until the Peace dollar was discontinued
in 1935. The dies were then used to strike more coins dated
1836. The new dollars that were produced had a medal alignment
to distinguish them from the earlier issue. In all three years
of issue, dollars are found with different die alignments.
During the period from the late 1850’s to the 1870’s,
the Mint struck Gobrecht dollars for VIPs and collectors.
Both restrikes and mules were made at this later time and
are very rare today.
and later Restrikes are known. Many of the Proofs were
released into circulation.
LIBERTY SILVER DOLLARS NO REVERSE MOTTO (1840-1865)
1840 to 1873, the Seated Liberty dollar was minted every year.
The obverse used a design that was modified from Gobrecht’s
Seated dollar. The reverse used the perched eagle design that
was found on quarter and half dollars of the time. Though
minted in small numbers, the dollar circulated for about a
decade. In 1850, the rising price of silver made the cost
of minting each coin more than a dollar. Production continued
until 1873 for the international market. From 1873 to 1885
the larger Trade dollar was used for the export trade. Although
the weight and composition of the Seated Liberty dollar remained
unchanged, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse
in 1866 in response to political and social pressure.
strikes have quadruple obverse stripes; double obverse
die with reverse “armpit” variety as a result
of die file marks between wings and body; triple obverse
stripes on proof only – very rare.