Dollars : Liberty Seated Dollar : Type 2, Flying Eagle Reverse, No Stars

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Obverse of 1839 Gobrecht Dollar Reverse of 1839 Gobrecht Dollar

Ron Guth: 1839 saw the third consecutive year of issuance of the so-called Gobrecht Dollar.  Alas, it was also to be the last year for this majestic coin, for in 1840, the "flying eagle" reverse would be replaced with a more conservative eagle adapted from the gold coins of earlier years.

Should the 1839 Silver Dollars be considered patterns or regular issues?  Unlike the 1836 Silver Dollars, none were struck for circulation.  Many of the known 1839 Dollars are restrikes from later years.  Certainly, the number of Proofs struck seems inordinately large for the period, but it may be that demand for the new Silver Dollars was unusually high since none had been struck since 1803 (notwithstanding the unusual emission of 1804 Dollars in 1834)!

Surprising, isn't it, that the two foundations of our nation's monetary system - the Silver Dollar and the Eagle ($10) - were absent from the numismatic scene for over three decades, neither to re-appear again until the late 1830s.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"United States Patterns and Related Issues" by Andrew W. Pollock III

Proofs