Remembering Christian Gobrecht

​Among American engravers of the past, Christian Gobrecht (1785-1844) is especially well remembered today. His name is associated with multiple coinage designs, none more famous than the Liberty Seated silver coinage of 1836 to 1873. The Liberty Seated Coin Club pays tribute to his accomplishments.

The 1836 silver dollar is one of the best known of his creations.  One thousand pieces were made in 1836, followed by 600 more from the same dies in early 1837. While today some regard these coins as patterns, in actuality nearly all were released into circulation at face value.  They began to receive significant numismatic attention in the 1850s, when examples sold for several dollars each.

Liberty Seated half dimes were made from 1837 to 1873, and dimes, quarters, and half dollars until 1891. Liberty Seated dollars were produced continuously from 1840 to 1873, although those of 1851 and 1852 were mostly limited to Proof sets for collectors. The first branch mint issue was the 1846-O silver dollar. No numismatic attention was paid to these at the time, resulting in Mint State coins being rarities today.

Gobrecht also had a mechanical turn of mind. He seems to have devised a reed organ to play music, the details of which are little known today. He also created a pantagraph machine to mechanically trace the features of coins, medals, and plaques to two-dimensional paper images.

Today coins designed by Gobrecht are very popular among collectors.

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