Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Baltimore 2021 Auction ‘Special’ Dollars



Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ November 2021 Baltimore Auction – the official Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo auction – will take place after the convention on November 22-23 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The Rarities Night session on November 23, consisting of 151 lots, features a very unusual 1836 Gobrecht dollar rated Proof 6 by Professional Coin Grading Service. The Proof designation identifies its original production method, while the digital quality recognizes heavy wear on both sides, perhaps indicating that it has been worn as a pocket piece for many years.

The design elements, including the date, remain clear, while “a small circle at 7 o’clock on the last side is noted, as are pinstripes on the reverse side, but all of these features are easily forgiven given the handling. of this piece obviously lasted ”, underlines the cataloguer.

The Gobrecht dollars dated 1836 to 1839 are curious objects that have long been of interest to character collectors, interested in a single one, and scholars, who have identified matrix markers and other features to distinguish the original strikes from the restarts performed. from the late 1850s to the early 1870s. This piece is listed as Judd 60 in the design reference and is classified as original, with a solid edge and die alignment 1, with the eagle flying up.

All examples are rare. As Stack’s Bowers writes of the dollars designed by engraver Christian Gobrecht, “The rarity and importance of the Gobrecht dollar as a type resulted in high numismatic prices for examples across the rating scale. , and it is rare for the budget-conscious collector to have the opportunity to bid on an attractive piece at a relatively affordable level.

Until the Gobrecht dollar, the denomination of the silver dollar was last minted in 1804 (with dies from an earlier date). Contemporary reports indicate that $ 1,000 Judd 60 Original was minted in 1836. Despite their inclusion in model references, the “Red Book” identifies it as a circulation problem. Stack’s Bowers Galleries wrote in its offer of another example of the show, “La Monnaie even ran some sort of press campaign on the new coin, as descriptions of a” new dollar of our own currency “have was published in New York City as early as December 15, 1836, and spread throughout the country over the following month.

Zerbe Proof 1921 Morgan

Farran Zerbe recently made headlines when the American Numismatic Association announced that it would be removing the name of this numismatist from its highest honor. Zerbe was president of the ANA from 1907 to 1909 and was a bit of a shady character. He was instrumental in creating the Peace Dollar in 1921 and used his connections to have special coins made for his own interests. He requested that special 1921 Morgan dollars be minted at the Philadelphia Mint which would serve as de facto evidence for the year.

Stack’s Bowers will offer a 1921 Morgan Dollar, now called Zerbe Special Strike, rated Specimen 66 by PCGS with a green CAC sticker

Although the coin is unofficially known as “Zerbe Proof”, it is not true Proof minted like the Morgan Proof dollars 1878 to 1904 which were available for sale direct to collectors. Instead, they are special strikes that are not identified as Proofs in the Mint’s records, but struck from highly polished dies.

The cataloguer explains, “This example shows the well-known diagnostics of the type with the aforementioned semi-reflective fields and the scattered matrix polishing lines of the matrix preparation process. ”

Maybe 100 to 125 survive out of around 150 that were hit at Zerbe’s behest, and this one is among the best.

Some are more skeptical about the possible Proof status of Zerbe coins. Q. David Bowers wrote in his most recent edition of A Guide to Morgan Silver Dollars, “In the writer’s opinion, Zerbe’s proofs have no basis in numismatic fact or history,” adding: “It seems highly unlikely that they were produced as proofs for collectors . ” Yet regardless of their status, they are more attractive than regular 1921 Morgan dollars and highly sought after by collectors today, especially in the absence of normal proofs of the year.
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