The Complete Emission Sequence for the Gobrecht Dollars
Striking dates for the J60, J61, J84, and J104 Originals come from the records of the U.S. Mint now in the Regional Archives at Philadelphia. Striking date estimates for the Original Issue restrikes and Cabinet Coins were developed from the emission sequence combined with period auction price history and the 1887 Mint Report, which specifically states that the majority of the Gobrecht dollar Cabinet Coins were produced in 1859 to 1860 and again in 1869 to 1874. For a full discussion see our article on the Gobrecht Dollar Restrikes.
The Emission Sequence
- J60 1836/Name On Base/Starry Reverse/Plain Edge - the Mint's account books show that these were struck the last week of December 1836.
- J61 1836/Name On Base/Starry Reverse/Plain Edge - struck January to March of 1837. Six hundred were struck and delivered in March. Assistant Coiner Franklin Peale's letter of Jan 8, 1837 suggesting the plain edge is at fault for the criticism of the dollar looking too medallic suggests that samples may have been struck at that time.
- J84 1838/Name Removed/Starry Reverse/Plain Edge - struck sometime after July 1838. Exactly when these were struck is unknown as there are no letters from Director Patterson to Secretary of the Treasury Levi Woodbury concerning the design or mentioning samples. We do know that it took place sometime after July 1838 as Woodbury writes twice that month requesting more samples of the dollars and Patterson responds, sending him pieces leftover from the December 1836 striking. The records only contain Patterson's response to the first request, and in that he notes he is not satisfied with the look of the eagle. This fits with the discovery by Saul Teichman that the neck feathers were modified on the new Starless reverse.
- J104 1839/Name Removed/Starry Reverse/Plain Edge - the Mint's account books show that these were struck last week of December 1839
Original Issue Restrikes and Cabinet Coins1858 to 1859. Period auction records show the first appearance of J58 in Cogan's December 1859 sale, where it went unsold. These are part of the surreptitious restrikes that Director James Ross Snowden seeks to check by officially restriking pieces for trade for Washingtonia for the Mint Cabinet Collection. Comparisons of restrike price data, first appearances for restrikes, and the employment periods of both Henry Linderman and A. Loudon Snowden strongly indicate that Linderman and A. Loudon were the primary culprits in the clandestine restriking, with Linderman being the "ring-leader" (see next).
- J58 1836 Name Below Base/Starry Reverse/Plain Edge - States A and B
1859 to 1864. With approval from the Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the Mint James Ross Snowden publicly offers to trade restrikes for Washingtonia for the Mint Cabinet Collection, with part of the justification being check the trade in surreptitious restrikes. Letters show at least two J84's are traded to collectors. These are the Early State J84 Restrikes.
Snowden's trade for Washingtonia was successful in creating a very significant collection. However, doing so only increased collector appetite for rare and unusual pieces and even more clandestine restrikes poured out of the Mint. Auction prices for J58, J84 and J104 show significant variation from 1859 through 1864 and, as previously noted, it is Linderman and A. Loudon who are primarily responsible for these pieces including the J60 Restrikes, more J58's, and the Middle State J84 Restrikes.
Linderman leaves the Mint in 1864 for a private stockbroker practice and prices for J84 and J104 stay relatively calm from 1864 until 1867 when Linderman returns as Director. This data obviously further establishes Linderman as the main culprit.
- Early to Middle State J84 Restrikes
- J58 State C
- J60 Alignment III Restrikes, States A and B
- Early J104 Restrikes
1867 to 1869. Linderman returns as Director in 1867 and remains through April 1869. In June 1867 Cogan, who is likely Linderman’s “beard” states in the American Numismatic Journal that only 18 Name Below Base pieces were originally struck in 1836. This, of course, is a lie. The obverse die was fabricated in early 1858 from the 1836 Name On Base master die or a leftover 1836 working die. Prices for J84 and J104 begin a long decline from the additional pieces being struck and sold.
- Late state J84 Restrikes
- Late state J104 Restrikes
April 1869: Linderman’s term as Director is terminated in April of 1869 and the auction record clearly shows the price of J58’s plunged from a high of $90.00 in June 1869 to $32.50 in October of 1870 along with the 1838 and 1839’s likewise showing significant price declines.
The data strongly indicate that as Linderman left office a large quantity of additional restrikes were released into the market causing the price declines and this release very likely including the copper and mule Cabinet Coins. This clearly suggests that the Cabinet Coin Restrikes were all struck circa April 1869.
While it could certainly be proposed that these pieces were struck earlier, say in 1867 or 1868 and released by Linderman after he left office, the timing really suggests otherwise.
The emission sequence clearly shows that copper and mule Cabinet Coins were struck in two groups, starting with the Starry Reverse Group. The last J60 Restrikes (State C) and the last J58's (State E) are also a part of Starry Reverse Group, with the coper and mule pieces being struck in between the J60 and J58's. Striking then immediately continued on to the Starless Reverse Group.
The die states of all of these pieces proceed so quickly and clearly from variety to variety, with no breaks in state between them, indicating that all of these pieces were struck in a very short period of time, perhaps as little as a day or two.
The emission squence grouping of these pieces by reverse type with the Starry Reverse group coming first followed by the Starless Reverse Group also fits the press mechanics since changing the reverse die, which was the anvil die, would require removing the collar and then reinstalling the collar and adjusting the tooling that depressed the collar to allow feeding. Thus, striking all of the desired pieces using one reverse before proceeding to the next was the simplest way.
Starry Reverse Group
- J60 Restrike State C - rust in front of face, NITED STATES O and OLLAR crack, lump feet A, die scratch U, crack foot A DOLLAR to dentil below same as J58 through J109.
- J58 1836 Name Below Base/Starry/Plain/Silver State D has the most rust in front of face, lump feet A, crack foot A to dentil below, die scratch U
- J62 1836 Name On Base/Starry/Plain/Copper - same as J60 State C
- J59 1836 Name Below Base/Starry/Plain/Copper - obv polished to remove worst of rust, still has light scattered pits around head and on Liberty, reverse same as previous
- J88 1838/Starry/Plain/Silver - obv small rust lumps in front of face, Liberty lightly grainy, light ripple on left wrist, small lump btwn feet A, strong crack foot A DOLLAR to dentil below
- J89 1838/Starry/Plain/Copper - Liberty lightly grainy, small spot of rust in front of face below star, slight ripple on left wrist – start of crack, reverse has lump feet A
- J108 1839/Starry/Plain/Silver - obv about the same as J105 and J107, rev cracks stronger than J88 and J89
- J109 1839/Starry/Plain/Copper - same as J108
- J58 1836 Name Below Base/Starry/Plain/Silver State E - polishing eliminates rust in front of face. Strike weakness at ITED STATES and dentils above. This is the last use of the Starry Reverse.
- J63 1836 Name Below Base/Starless/Plain/Silver - polished to remove rust, D spur strong, low spot right foot of F develops on State B, low spot strong and ragged with indentations
- J64 1836Name Below Base/Starless/Plain/Copper - D spur and low spot at F strong and ragged as on J63
- J107 1839/Starless/Plain/Copper - bit weaker D spur, probably fading from striking, low spot at F still ragged but shallower and smaller than J64, starting to blunt from striking
- J87 1838/Starless/Plain/Copper - Liberty lightly grainy, light polish removes rust in front of face, perhaps start of left wrist crack, about same as J85 prior to full crack, reverse lightly polished, no T line, D spur weak, low spot F smaller, shallower, and smoother than J63, J64, or J107, blunted by striking and no longer ragged.
- J65 1836 Name On Base/Starless/Plain/Silver - rust patch in field left of face. D spur strong, State A shows a strong low spot right foot of F with State B showing just slight remnants of low spot.
- J85 1838/Starless/Plain/Silver - small crack on Liberty's left hand just below wrist, very faint traces of low spot at F.
- J105 1839/Starless/Plain/Silver - low spot at F gone
1873 to 1874. Linderman’s returns as Superintendent in 1873. Auction prices for J104 had risen slightly since 1869 but fall again in 1875 due to additional coins being struck in 1873 to 1874. The 1887 Mint Report points to 1874 as the end of the most of the surreptitious restriking. Die states show that the 1838 obverse has failed, the 1839 obverse appears to be failing, and the Starry Reverse is polished out. The dies are shot, and this ends the restriking of the Gobrecht dollars.
- Late state J104 Restrikes
Gobrecht Dollar Emission Sequence Overturns Breen-Julian Theory
Craig Sholley, John Dannreuther, and Saul Teichman
In the nearly seven years since we first presented the Dannreuther/Teichman/Sholley (DTS) Theory of the Gobrecht Dollars at the 2012 ANA Convention, we have viewed every Gobrecht dollar that has come to auction or presented to us at shows to improve and refine the sequence. We have yet to find a new die state or a coin in an alignment/die state combination not already present in the sequence and are thus pleased to report that the emission sequences and die states remain unchanged.
The DTS Emission Sequences have been critical to the overturning of the Breen-Julian Theory and understanding the true history of this short-lived and somewhat enigmatic series. For the past several years, R.W. Julian has expended much effort in a fruitless attempt to restore the Breen-Julian Theory. His latest efforts are based on a "creative interpretation" of a return of scrap by the Chief Coiner in 1840, which he claims prove the 1839 dollars struck in late December of that year were melted and thus only restrikes exist.
As with his previous modifications of the Breen-Julian Theory, his latest attempts only further illustrate the core problem of the Breen-Julian Theory: it is completely at odds with the extant coins and it is incompatible with several of the mint records concerning these pieces. Rather than simply point out the latest failure, it seems appropriate at this juncture to discuss both the DTS Theory and the inconsistencies in the Breen-Julian Theory.
A Brief Review of the Breen-Julian Theory
Briefly, the Breen-Julian Theory maintains that one can distinguish original issue pieces from restrikes based on the relative alignment of the obverse to the reverse. According to the theory, the 1836, 1838, and 1839 "originals" were only struck in what is called "Die Alignment I," which has the eagle flying upwards and the denomination centered at the bottom when the coin is rotated on its horizontal axis (i.e., top to bottom). This is the normal "coin-turn" found on all regular issue U.S. coinage.
The theory goes on to claim that Die Alignment II, which has the eagle flying upwards and the denomination centered at the bottom when the coin is rotated on its vertical axis (i.e., "medal turn"), was used on the March 1837 striking of 600 pieces to distinguish them from the 1836s since the same dies were used.
Finally, there are the two alignments supposedly only used on restrikes. These are the coin-turn Die Alignment III, which has the eagle flying level and the denomination skewed to the right when the coin is turned on its horizontal axis and the medal-turn Die Alignment IV, which has the eagle flying level and the denomination skewed to the right when the coin is turned on its vertical axis.
Core Problems with the Breen-Julian Theory
It is important to note that the Breen-Julian Theory was originally developed around 1977 by Walter Breen in an effort to explain the alignment seen on the coins. Despite Julian's recent attempts to make it a "records-based" theory, it is not and never will be as definitive mint records describing what happened simply do not exist. Thus, it was and remains a theory created to explain the extant coins and therein lies the core problem since the coins simply do not match the theory.
The original Breen Theory held sway until the late 1990s and into 2000 when researchers noticed that the accumulated auction data did not match the theory. Since Breen maintained that alignment II coins were struck in March of 1837 and that alignment III and IV coins were later restrikes, then those alignments should exclusively occur on 412.5 grain planchets in keeping with the weight and fineness changes instituted by mint regulation in January of 1837.
Also, there should not be a significant number of circulated alignment III or IV coins since restrikes were not released into circulation, instead they were specifically struck for collectors. As a result, restrikes are mainly seen in uncirculated condition, along with a few "pocket-pieces" and some that were unfortunately polished, harshly cleaned, or became corroded due to careless storage.
However, that is not what the auction data showed. As Michael Carboneau and James Grey pointed out in their ground-breaking article in the November 2000 issue of the Gobrecht Journal, alignment II pieces were only seen on planchets meeting the 416 grain standard of 1793 to 1836 and all but one alignment IV coin were likewise on "heavy planchets."
Additionally, they noticed an unusual number of 1836 alignment IV coins in circulated condition. This trend continued for the 1839 alignment IV coins, with their 2001 Gobrecht Journal article on those pieces showing no less than ten circulated coins, including pieces in VF20 and F12.
Finally, they noted that the 1838 and 1839 dollars in the Mint Cabinet Collection were not in alignment I as they should be, but rather in alignment IV. With the weight data, circulation data, and alignments of the 1839 and 1839 completely at odds with the Breen Theory, obviously something was amiss as the theory that was supposed to explain the extant coins clearly did not!
Julian tried to counter these findings, arguing that the "heavy" alignment II coins were merely those struck on heavy planchets to balance out light-weight pieces in the shipment, that the circulated coins were simply "pocket-pieces," and that the 1838 and 1839 dollars in the Mint Cabinet must have been switched or traded at some time.
The DTS Theory
Julian's arguments might have sufficed in an earlier time, but the contrary data continued to pile up. The situation for the Breen-Julian Theory became terminal with an analysis of the Julius Korein collection, the most extensive collection of Gobrecht dollars ever assembled.
Before proceeding with a detailed explanation of the DTS Theory and Emission Sequence, we do wish to state that had the mint not encountered serious problems during the December 1836 striking, original issue coins would be in alignment I just as the Breen-Julian Theory asserts. However, there was a problem and that is the cause of the various alignments seen on these coins.
As we noted during our presentation on the Gobrecht dollars at the 2012 ANA Convention, the mint, which had not struck dollars since 1804, tried to strike pieces with just two weeks left in the year. Not surprisingly, they ran into problems. The feed fingers were hitting the reverse die causing mis-feeds and the now famous reverse rim nicks. Feverishly trying to identify and fix the issue before they ran out of time, mint personnel rotated the dies, resulting in pieces being struck in alignments I, II, and IV.
The following emission sequence chart for the 1836 Name On Base pieces was developed mainly from the Korein collection and clearly illustrates how the rim nicks progress around the rim as mint personnel rotated the dies.
The DTS Emission Sequence for the 1836 Name On Base issues of December 1836 is presented below. The "K" number coins are from the Korein collection. A question mark (?) in a die marker column indicates that the feature could not be clearly seen due to the holder or grime covering the spot.
Also note that we have added two alignment II coins not presented in the original emission sequence (currently hosted on uspatterns.com) to more clearly illustrate the weights for those pieces.
DTS Emission Sequence for the 1836 Name On Base Issues
The emission sequence clearly presents a devastating and insurmountable problem for the Breen-Julian Theory since that theory emphatically states that alignment I and II coins are originals and alignment IV was only used on restrikes, yet the sequence conclusively shows alignment I and II "originals" were struck after ones the theory says are "restrikes"!
The Breen-Julian Theory is thus totally discredited since an Original cannot be distinguished from a Restrike by alignment alone as the theory so zealously claims. This is certainly the reason Julian never addresses the emission sequence in his articles, preferring instead to present a rehash of the letters concerning the design history. Obviously, he is hoping that this "historical smoke-and-mirrors" approach will cover the fact that he is avoiding any discussion of the extant coins not meeting the theory.
The 1838/39 Emission Sequence
Since there were no striking problems, the emission sequence for the 1838 and 1839 dollars is far simpler than that for 1836. The 1838 and 1839 dollars share a common reverse, the so-called Starless Reverse, which starts out in 1838 with a few small die lumps above TA in STATES and very faint cracks through the tops of ITE and MER. The dies lightly clash during the striking of the 1838 patterns causing light clash marks behind the eagle's wing and elongated lump or wrinkle above S O.
In its use in 1839, the reverse has been lightly polished reducing the lumps at TA and obscuring the wrinkle above S O. Very faint cracks are seen at the tops of ITE, MER and bases of LAR.
It is also now known that the die line over the T of UNITED starts faintly on this use. Previously, it was only seen on State B 1839 coins. This was discovered in early 2016 when Heritage sent Dannreuther and Sholley high resolution photographs of an 1839 dollar consigned to its 2017 January FUN sale. Heritage brought the coin to the April 2016 Central States show so that Dannreuther could personally examine the coin and confirm the new feature. This piece is so well struck that it may well be one of the Master Coins that William E. Dubois sold to Matthew Stickney.
The 1839 State B reverse shows new lumps at TA from a light clashing and a heavier die line over the T of UNITED. This is currently the latest state seen for original strikes.
Julian continues to claim that all of the 1839 dollars are restrikes. However, the die stating and emission sequence clearly show they are Originals since the dies are remarkably fresh with none of the rust and polishing seen when the dies are later used for restrikes. Since Julian does not do die stating or emission sequence work, he simply does not appreciate how easy it is to distinguish fresh dies from those that have been in use.
Further Problems for the Breen-Julian Theory
Not only do the emission sequences and die states totally contradict the Breen-Julian Theory, the weight data for 1836 alignment II and IV coins is also in direct conflict. Since Breen-Julian states that alignment II coins were struck in March of 1837 and the alignment IV coins are later restrikes, the coins should be on planchets meeting the 412.5 grain standard introduced in January of 1837.
However, that is most definitely not what the weight data show. Adding in the two alignment II pieces weighing 415.4 and 416.0 from the November 2000 article by Carboneau and Grey (note that the third was a data error) and the average weight of alignment II coins is 415.48 grains. In fact, the present authors have only found a single alignment II coin weighing less than 414 grains - lot 1753 from the May 1993 Bowers and Merena sale at 413.2 grains.
Additionally, the weights for 1836 alignment IV coins from both the DTS Emission Sequence and the Carboneau and Gray study clearly do not meet the 412.5 grain standard as over half of the pieces weigh between 414.3 and 416.67 grains.
In the past, Julian has tried to explain away the weights as coins struck on heavy planchets. However, that makes no sense. If these pieces truly were "heavies" to offset light weight coins, then we should see similar amount of those light weight coins, but we do not. Yes, there is the occasional light alignment I or IV coin, but they are not enough to offset the heavies. And, alignment II coins are almost exclusively on 414 to 416 grain planchets.
There is also a major discrepancy between the extant circulated coins and the Breen-Julian Theory. There are approximately 45 circulated 1836 alignment IV coins and around 30 or so circulated alignment IV 1839s. Since these occur on pieces the theory declares to be restrikes, we have the odd proposition of large numbers of circulated restrikes. This situation is totally unique to the Breen-Julian Theory. Other common restrikes of the period, such as the restrike Braided Hair half cents and the 1838 Judd 73 half dollar, show, at most, a couple coins with "pocket-piece wear."
We should clarify that we mean coins with true circulation wear or "pocket-piece" wear, not coins that haven been cleaned, polished, whizzed, repaired, or net-graded corroded "environmental damage" coins. Those do exist for all restrikes, just as they do for originals. What does not exist for restrikes are significant numbers of coins with actual circulation or "pocket-piece" wear.
The other interesting anomaly regarding the circulated Gobrechts is that they occur only on coins that the DTS emission sequences show to be Originals. There are no circulated 1836 Alignment III Restrikes or the 1839 Alignment II and IV Restrikes from the rusted dies.
Julian has tried to explain these "circulated restrikes" away as pocket pieces. However, there are about three or four coins each for 1836 and 1839 that clearly have "pocket-wear," the rest show typical circulation wear. Furthermore, no other restrike from this or any period shows anywhere near the 45 circulated pieces seen for 1836 alignment IV coins and the 30 or so seen for alignment IV 1839s. There are simply too many circulated coins to be explained away as "pocket-pieces."
Julian's Current Claims
In an attempt to prove that there are other "circulated" restrikes, at least as pocket pieces, Julian recently brought up the Class III 1804 dollars, four of which are "circulated." We were quite surprised that he attempted to use this argument as it has been repeatedly noted in articles and auction catalogs for at least the last twenty years that the four Class III dollars were artificially circulated in an effort to hide the fact that they were restrikes.
In fact, the Adams-Carter specimen last auctioned in Heritage's April-May 2009 Cincinnati sale was described exactly in that manner – artificially circulated. The piece has strange satiny surfaces with none of the little nicks, ticks, and crisscrossing abrasions seen on naturally circulated coins. And, the two XF pieces have been harshly cleaned and polished, probably more than once.
That leaves the Berg-Garrett specimen, which does have some tiny nicks and ticks and thus could be a pocket-piece. Oddly though, the nicks and ticks are limited mostly to the fields, with a few small marks on the major devices, and nothing on the rims.
However, even if we accept for sake of argument that these four pieces were pocket-pieces, we're still only talking about FOUR COINS and they thus still fit the general rule that large numbers of "circulated" restrikes simply do not exist.
That brings us to his claim that he has found a record proving the dollars struck in December of 1839 were all melted and thus only restrikes exist. In his May 2019 article in The Numismatist, Julian quotes a Department of the Treasury audit record which he claims proves the 1839 dollars were melted. This is actually the third time he has tried to use the same record to support his melt claim and it doesn't work any better than his two previous attempts.
The first such attempt appeared in an October 6, 2009 Numismatic News article. Therein, Julian claimed that a record from the mint's account books (the Bullion Journals) showed what he called a "special bullion deposit" of $325.00 on April, 30, 1840, noting that it was a whole dollar amount and therefore must be the 300 dollars struck in December of 1839 plus 25 supposed "set-up pieces."
As we pointed out in our March 2016 article in The Numismatist detailing the emission sequences for the 1838 and 1839 dollars, the mint account books show that the $325.00 figure is not a "special deposit," but rather is shown as return of scrap on the Chief Coiner's account. Furthermore, the fact that the figure is in whole dollars is meaningless as there are many such figures on the books prior to 1836 – well before the mint had struck any dollars! We do note that Julian subsequently dropped that argument.
Julian repeated many of the same arguments in his June 2016 article in The Numismatist, adding that the mint's account books called the $325.00 entry "silver coinage." As we pointed out in our response, the account books coded the return not as silver coins but as "By Silver Coinage," meaning as a result of silver coinage. Additionally, since the 300 dollars of 1839 had already been shown as delivered on both the mint's accounts and the quarterly reports to the Treasury, "re-delivering" them as $325.00 in scrap would create a double entry, resulting in both the mint and Treasury accounts being out of balance.
Julian's latest attempt to turn this record into a melting of the 1839 dollars appeared in the May 2019 issue of The Numismatist, where he quotes an audit record prepared by the First Auditor of the Treasury showing the $325.00 figure labeled as "American Silver coins included in the returns of the Melter & Refiner during the 2nd qr 1840."
However, there is an obvious discrepancy here as the mint's account books clearly show the amount as silver scrap returned by the Chief Coiner. So, very likely, this is nothing more than transcription error on the audit record. But, for sake of argument, let us assume that the "American Silver Coins" label is correct.
There are still several problems interpreting this to be the 300 dollars of 1839. First, there is no date or denomination shown on this audit record, so Julian cannot conclusively state that this record is the 1839 dollars. Furthermore, although he makes much ado about the $325.00 figure calculating out to exactly the 279.3 troy ounces of 90% silver, that does not prove anything as that had been the standard since January of 1837!
Without any date or denomination indicating what this entry might be and the value simply being a reflection of the weight standard in effect since 1837, it could well be for any date and denomination, or even a mixture, of mis-struck coins from 1837 to June 1840.
Let's use a little common sense for a moment. The audit record clearly states that it is for the second quarter of 1840. So, the $325.00 entry is quite simply for mis-struck Liberty Seated coins generated during the striking of the half dimes, dimes, quarters, and half dollars struck in that quarter - just as the audit record shows.
Finally, we have the quarterly report to the Treasury for the fourth quarter of 1839. Since this report was not compiled until well after January 1st (Julian notes it was sent in February of 1840), it conclusively shows that the 1839 dollars had been delivered and released, otherwise they would not have appeared on the report. Thus, the 1839 dollars were not even at the mint in April to June 1840 and could not have been melted.
In his May 2019 article, Julian makes one of the most absurd claims we have ever seen, stating that since the 1839 dollars "were struck in proof (or proof-like) condition" they cannot be originals since the steam press was incapable of producing proof specimens!
Apparently Julian has never seen the literally hundreds of really nice proof-like business strike Liberty Seated coins produced on these presses. Furthermore, he has apparently never examined any 1839 dollars as they are not proofs or even proof-like. Rather, they have the soft, even, satiny luster typically seen on business strikes of this period. In fact, The 1839 Originals are only called "proof" by the grading services in keeping with 150 years of tradition. Excepting the lone ANS/Korein proof, the same is true of the 1836 Originals. Yes, there are, perhaps, a half dozen or so really nice proof-like 1836 dollars, but most don't even rise to semi-prooflike.
In the end, Julian's story of the 1839 dollars being rejected and held for some three to six months before they were melted sometime in April to June of 1840 is simply a tale he constructed to get rid of coins that he cannot explain. He found a couple scrap records that are "sort of, kind of" close to the 300 dollars struck in 1839 and could be "creatively interpreted" into a melt tale. However, there is no documentary evidence that any of what Julian claims to have happened actually did happen and the extant coins directly contradict his arguments.
The Dollars of March 1837
As the DTS Emission Sequence shows, the 1836 alignment II coins were clearly struck after the earliest alignment IV pieces, being mixed in with later state alignment I and IV strikes. Furthermore, the weight data clearly shows that they were struck on planchets meeting the 416 grain standard of 1836. Thus, both the weight data and the emission sequence conclusively show that 1836 alignment II pieces were struck in December of 1836.
Of course, Julian scrupulously avoids any discussion of this data in his articles as the coins simply do not support his contentions. Rather, he repeatedly tries to revive the story of the 600 dollars of March 1837 being struck in alignment II and then melted in November of 1839. His melt tale uses the same "logic" as that for 1839, creates the same "double-entry" accounting problems, and is thus invalid. We will not go into the details here as we fully addressed this issue in our June 2016 article in The Numismatist.
So, what of the March 1837 striking? Well, we do have one record and one coin that strongly suggests what actually happened. On Jan 8, 1837 Franklin Peale wrote an internal memorandum to Mint Director Robert Patterson noting, among other things, that the new dollar had received much criticism for looking too medallic. Peale stated that he felt this was due to the plain edge and suggested striking with a segmented lettered-edge collar like he had seen in France.
While we don't have a lettered-edge coin, we do have an 1836 Name On Base piece in the latest die state known... with a reeded edge. This unique piece is known by its pattern designation of Judd 61 and was previously thought to be a fantasy piece from the 1860s or 1870s. However, another letter and the die state prove otherwise.
In July of 1838, Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury writes to Mint Director Robert Patterson asking for 50 more samples of the new dollar. Patterson replies that all he has on hand are ones from the December 1836 striking so he's sending those. Numismatists have known about these letters at least 60 years and no one has questioned the rather odd wording of Patterson's reply. Why would Patterson say the only coins he had left were December 1836 coins so he was sending those unless he had sent something similar in the mean time?
Judd 61 is certainly similar with the exception of the reeded edge and the die state also supports it being a pattern strike made very shortly after the December 1836 striking as the reverse is in the latest state seen with all of the rim nicks blunted by continued striking. It is thus very likely that Patterson had sent one or two 1836 Name On Base/Reeded Edge Judd 61 patterns to Woodbury as examples of "fixing" the too medallic look of the dollars and a reeded edge piece is what was struck in March of 1837.
Sadly, just adding a reeded collar did not work. The 1836 design also had a rather barren obverse and, of course, Gobrecht's name on the base – something that only appeared on medals to that point. All of these features made the coin look far too medallic and that spelled the death-knell for the design.
While the mint's account books show that the 600 dollars were delivered by the Chief Coiner in March of 1837, they do not do not appear in the "Mint Report" for 1837. Apparently, the Treasury decided the reeded edge would not suffice and ordered Patterson to cease striking and melt any coins on-hand.
There is some question as to what the 1837 dollars looked like. Noting the Peale letter we quoted, Julian currently claims that they were struck with a reeded edge, but still in alignment II since he further claims the 1836 dies were used. However, why would the mint need an odd alignment as a way to tell the 1837 striking from 1836 if a reeded collar was used?
Then we have the notice from the November 21, 1840 issue of Niles' Register which stated that in 1837 "a new die was got up, the coins from which looked so bad that it was broken up." Combining this with Patterson's well-known aversion to using back-dated dies and the fact that using the obverse master hub it would have taken Gobrecht but a couple days to sink and finish a new die, it seems very likely that a new 1837 dated obverse was created and used for the March striking.
That the dies were destroyed as the Niles' Register article says also fits the fact that the 1836 Name On Base/Reeded Edge Judd 61 pattern is the last known use of the "Nicked Reverse." Despite the fact that it was still in very good condition, excepting the rim nicks which could easily have been tooled off, this reverse is never used on any restrike nor listed in any mint die ledger and thus was certainly destroyed.
As can be seen from the forgoing, the Breen-Julian Theory, which was created in an attempt to explain the extant coins, cannot explain them. Further, the DTS Emission Sequences, along with the weight and the circulation data totally destroy the Breen-Julian Theory.
Julian has fabricated a number of thin arguments based on pure speculation. He offers no documentary proof of his spurious claims excepting a couple of "creatively interpreted" mint records that are so ambiguous they can be read any way one wishes.
Finally, Julian has never answered the key points of the emission sequences and the weight data. Rather, he has engaged in a "smoke-and-mirrors" approach of quoting various irrelevant documents and spinning carefully constructed fairy tales in an effort to divert attention from the fact that his theory does not fit the extant coins. In the end, the Breen-Julian Theory is a complete failure as he cannot explain why the emission sequences and weight data are in direct conflict with his theory.