Recently, you may have seen our post on Facebook about our newly acquired Gobrecht Dollar. If not, here is a bit of information about it:
To understand its story you need to step back to 1803 when the government stopped making silver dollars.
“They just didn’t have an abundance of silver, and in those days, a dollar was a lot of money.” Randy Briggs shares. “In the 1830’s they began to think that they should start to have them again….” Which brings us to Christian Gobrecht, who was a well-known engraver who had worked with the mint as an independent contractor. In the 1830’s he joined the US mint staff as an assistant engraver. “In 1836 coin designs were modified to accommodate the new steam press. Christian Gobrecht created the new Seated Liberty design and struck a small quantity and placed them in circulation. Well, it had been 33 years, and a lot of the people in government didn’t remember the silver dollars. There were different varieties of these coins that were circulated amongst all of the government officials because Congress had to decide whether or not the US was going to start using them again…Ultimately, they began making silver dollars again in 1840. This coin is one of the patterns. And of this particular variety, they only made 600.”
We also thought that you might be interested to hear a little more about Christian Gobrecht, the engraver who created this beautiful Seated Liberty Dollar.
Christian Gobrecht was born in 1785 in Hanover Pennsylvania.
He always had a designer’s eye on him because before he ever was hired at the U.S. Mint, he already was credited with creating a medal ruling machine, a talking doll, a better camera lucida with steel mirrors as well as a musical instrument. But he is most famous for creating beautifully designed coins. The road to the Mint was not a seamless one for Gobrecht. He caught their attention early on in his career. But when they offered him a job as an Assistant Engraver he turned it down in favor of the Chief Engraver position. But it wasn’t until 1840 that he got that position. Before then he would design the famed Gobrecht Dollar with the Seated Liberty. That design would later be seen on half dimes, dimes, twenty-cent pieces, quarters and half dollars. He would also famously create the braided hair cent and half cent. We have Christian Gobrecht to thank for many of the loveliest coins that were ever made by the U.S. Mint