1838 P Gobrecht Dollars : All Varieties

Early Silver Dollars

Mintage: 100
Minted at: Philadelphia

Designer - Engraver: Christian Gobrecht
Metal Composition: 89% Silver - 11% Copper

Diameter: 39.5 mm
Mass / Weight: 26.8 grams

What this coin looks like (obverse, reverse, mint mark location, special features, etc.):
1838 Gobrecht Silver Dollar Varieties - Difference and Comparison
The Gobrecht Silver Dollar was the first US Dollar coin struck since 1804. It contains a very large number of varieties ranging from original strikes to restrikes produced in the late 1850s through early 1870s. This coin type is named after Christian Gobrecht - the designer of the Gobrecht Dollar and later the Seated Liberty Dollar - who also prominently placed his name into the design of the coin. This coin is also described as a prototype coin for the Seated Liberty Dollar as there were so many different die alignments and design changes - yet very few of these coins were available to the public. It is as if this was a "practice coin" for testing the minting process and coming up with a solid standard for the new US dollar coin.

Depicted above is an example image comparing the 4 major Die Alignments (I - II - III - IV) used on Gobrecht dollars. The original design Die Alignment I - in which Gobrecht designed the eagle to be flying "upward and onward". Unfortunately the feeder mechanism for striking these coins was designed for coin sizes of half dollars or smaller - which resulted in damage to both sides of the rim. The Mint tried to correct this by rotating the dies at various angles during strike - but this just made the problem worse. This is how the four various Die Alignment angles came out to be. These alignments are not set in stone because there are even some in-between die alignments

There are three major varieties on the reverse of the coin. The name "C. GOBRECHT F." - the initials/name of the engraver - was designed into the base of the liberty portrait. Due to public outcry regarding the engraver's name being displayed so prominently on the base - it was later moved below the base and then later removed completely after 1836. The difference between the name on base vs name below base vs name omitted is depicted below in the example comparison image:

1838 Gobrecht Dollar Name On Base vs Name Below Base Varieties - Difference and Comparison

There were then two major varieties of the design on the reverse of the coin. One features an eagle flying through a field of stars (starry field) and another is the eagle flying through an empty field with no stars. The difference and comparison between these varieties are depicted below:

1838 Gobrecht Dollar Starry Reverse vs Plain Field Varieties - Difference and Comparison

Major Varieties:
1838 Original Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Plain Field - Reeded Edge - Die Alignment IV
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Plain Field - Reeded Edge - Die Alignment II
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Plain Field - Reeded Edge - Die Alignment III
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Plain Field - Reeded Edge - Die Alignment IV
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Plain Field - Plain Edge - Die Alignment III/IV
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Starry Field - Reeded Edge - Die Alignment III/IV
1838 Restrike Gobrecht Dollar - Name Omitted - Starry Field - Plain Edge - Die Alignment III/IV

Coin valuation chart: Typical coin prices, values and worth per grade or condition - in USD
Good
(G-4)
Very Good
(VG-8)
Fine
(F-12)
Very Fine
(VF-20)
Extremely Fine
(EF-40)
About Uncirculated
(AU-50)
Uncirculated
(MS-60)
Uncirculated
(MS-63)
Proof
(PR-60)
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MELT VALUE: $13.07


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