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Liberty Seated Dollar 1836 - 1873
The Mint Quit striking dollar coins in 1804. Even though the dollar was the primary
unit of U.S. coinage, few dollar coins circulated in the early part of the 19th century.
Most dollar coins were either melted domestically or exported.
In the 1820s and 1830s Mint directors, Moore and Patterson, both advocated reviving the
coinage. Moore obtained authorization in 1831, but it was Patterson who in 1835 finally
got preparations under way.
In keeping with the Neoclassical movement of the time, Engraver Christian Gobrecht
designed a seated Liberty, the date and the designer's name as the only three obverse
element. Approximately 18 coins were struck as patterns, and approved both by President
Andrew Jackson and his cabinet. However, the prominence of Gobrecht's name led to
charges of conceit. The moving Gobrecht's name satisfied critics, and the first
1,000 coins were struck in late 1836.
The obverse of the Gobrecht dollar shows Liberty seated on a rock with Classical
flowing robes, her head turned to her right, left arm bent, the hand holding a liberty
pole, topped with a cap and her right arm extended downward at her side balancing a
shield with the word LIBERTY on a curving banner. The date is at the six o'clock.
The coin rim is raised with a circle of dentils inside, and the edge is plain.
On the reverse is an eagle in flight. Based on the orientation to the obverse the
eagle is flying upward on 1836 dollars, within a field of 26 six-point stars. 13
stars are slightly larger (representing the original 13 states) and thirteen stars
are smaller (for the 13 more recent states added to the Union).
Gobrecht Type (1836 -1839)
Obverse by Thomas Sully,
Reverse by Titian Peale
- 39 millimeters
Originals - 89.2 % Silver, 10.8% Copper
Restrikes - 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Originals - 27 grams.
Restrikes - 26.7 grams.
- Plain, except for a reeded edge on one restrike variety.
Mint Mark Legend:
no mintmarks - all were minted in Philadelphia.
Type 1 & 2 Mintage
|Year/ Mint Mark||Circulation Strikes|
Flying Eagle reverse with stars is actually a pattern coin.
† No circulation strikes, however 100 Proofs were struck.
‡ No circulation strikes, however 300 Proofs were struck.
Type 1 (1836)
Flying Eagle Reverse, With Stars
Type 2 (1836 - 1839)
Flying Eagle Reverse, No Stars
1838-1839 Dollars have 13 six-point stars surrounding the seated Liberty and the
stars were removed for the reverse. Using the obverse for orientation, the eagle
is flying flat, however, if orientated with the ''ONE DOLLAR'' at the bottom, the
eagle is flying upward similar to the 1836 Dollar.
The reverse has a raised rim and circle of dentils, inside that is a concentric
circle of text, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the top two thirds of the coin,
with ONE DOLLAR completing the circle at the bottom. The two phrases are separated
by a small raised ring with a dot inside.
Type 3 Mintage
Content: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 26.73 grams
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Type 3 (1840 - 1865)
Perched Eagle No Motto
The obverse was not changed from the Gobrecht dollar, but the flying eagle was
removed from the reverse. It was replaced by a perched eagle whose wings are
partially spread centered inside a dentilled rim. The eagle holds an olive branch
in the right claw and the left claw carries three arrows. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
encircles the top two-thirds of the coin just inside the rim, with the ONE DOL.
denomination at the six o'clock position.
Designer: - Christian Gobrecht
Weight: - 26.73 grams
Diameter: - 38.1 millimeters
Edge: - Reeded
Content: - 90% silver, 10% copper
Mint Mark Legend: no mintmarks - all were minted in Philadelphia.
Type 4 Mintage
Type 4 (1866 - 1873)
Perched Eagle With Motto
A Pennsylvania minister suggested to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase that a
religious motto be added to the nation's coins. Secretary Chase then asked Mint
Director Pollock to develop a plan for implementing this sentiment on America's
coins. A number of possibilities were suggested, including: GOD AND OUR COUNTRY,
GOD IS OUR SHIELD, and GOD OUR TRUST. Of course, Chase selected: IN GOD WE TRUST.
Appearing first on the two cent coin, the Mint Act of 1865 authorized the placement
of the motto on silver and gold coins. It was added to the Liberty Seated dollar in 1866.
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U.S. Liberty Seated Dollars