In the 1830’s, the U.S. Mint began the search for a coin design that would stand the test of time and prove to be a lasting symbol of American gold coins. Initial designs by William Kneass were regularly modified but were never in line with the vision of the mint. Finally, in 1838, Christian Gobrechts’s coronet designs rose to prominence and were approved for use beginning in 1840.
Although the mintage for this coin was the fifth highest in the series, it was still significantly limited. Out of 136 total coins minted, it is estimated that approximately 50 of them survive today.
The obverse features the head of liberty facing left, with the word LIBERTY inscribed on her coronet. The bun in her hair is held in place by a string of pearls. Thirteen stars, representing the original colonies, surround the periphery and are followed by the date. The reverse features a heraldic eagle, wings open and a shield covering its chest. Clutched in its claw is an olive branch with three arrows. The words “The United States of America” are on the periphery, with the coin’s denomination below.
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