Bonhams coin auction to be led by 1838 Gobrecht dollar
A 1838 Gobrecht dollar will lead Bonhams' Coins and Medals auction on May 27
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 16 May 2012
A rare Gobrecht dollar from 1838 is set to lead bids in Bonhams' Coins and Medals auction, which will be held on May 27 in Los Angeles.
The Gobrecht dollars were the first silver coins to be minted in the US following the decision to stop production of existing silver coins in 1806. The United States Mint was forced to halt the production after many of the initial 1794 coins were exported to east Asia and melted down for their silver content.
Following the inauguration of Robert M Patterson as director of the mint in 1835, the United States coinage was redesigned and the silver dollars were reintroduced, with Christian Gobrecht hired as the engraver.
The Gobrecht dollars were produced for just three years, between 1836 and 1839, as a trial run for the Seated Liberty Dollar of 1840. The 1838 dollars are the scarcest of the three years, with the Bonhams coin made rarer by the absence of Gobrecht's initials and the addition of stars surrounding Liberty on the reverse.
The coin, which is in good circulated condition, will go to auction with an estimate of $45,000-50,000.
Sharing this estimate will be the 1795 13 leaves $10, which marks the United States Mint's first issue in that denomination. Originally, there were two varieties of the coin minted; one featuring nine leaves on the branch below the eagle, and this example with 13. The 13 leaf example is the more common of the two, though both are sought-after collector's pieces.
The LA auction is hoping to attract UK bidders to the auction, which will feature a collection of over 600 gold sovereigns from Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries. The coins comprise part of the estate of broadcaster and businesswoman Maria Helen Smith.
Now is the time to invest in British coinage, with an 1887 Queen Victoria sovereign making $45,090 at a sale of the Bentley Collection on May 8, displaying an increase of 86.6% on estimate.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic range of investment-grade coins on offer to collectors. This prototype double florin was created for the 1951 Festival of Britain, and is thought to be the only example with the value inscribed in words around the edge.
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