$49,140 1838 Gobrecht dollar shines at Bonhams coin auction

A rare 1838 Gobrecht dollar highlighted the Bonhams coin sale in Los Angeles on May 27

The Bonhams Coins and Medals auction in Los Angeles was highlighted by a rare 1838 Gobrecht dollar on Sunday (May 27).

1838 gobrecht dollarThe rarest of Gobrecht dollars...

Following theappointment of Robert M Pattison as director of the United States mint in 1835, thenational coinage was redesigned and Christian Gobrecht hired as the engraver. The resulting coin, known as the Gobrecht dollar, was the first silver coin to be produced by the mint in over 30 years. In 1806, the United States Mint was forced to halt production of silver coinage after it was discovered that many of its original 1794 coins had been exported to east Asia and melted down for their metal content. The dollars which Gobrecht designed were produced for just three years from 1836-1839, as a trial to see if the trend would continue. Examples from 1838stand as the rarest of the three years. Various changes were made to the design during the run, with the Bonhams example made more valuable by the absence of Gobrecht's initials as well asthe addition of stars surrounding Liberty. It sold for $48,140, almost topping the auction house'shigh estimate of $50,000.Collectors will have the chance to bid on another of America's finest coins when a 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 comes to auction on May 30. The top lot of the Bonhams sale was provided by a collection of Liberty $20 Double Eagles, ranging from 1870-1907. The superb collection, in fine uncirculated condition, sold for $70,200.Paul Fraser Collectibles is very pleased to offer our new selection of rare Italian coins, which have all been carefully sourced using our experts' 250 years of combined experience.

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