Liberty Seated Quarters


No Motto (1838-1866)

For over a decade, renowned banknote plate engraver and medalist Christian Gobrecht had been seeking a permanent position with the Mint. By the early 1800s, however, the nepotism permeating the Mint’s employment practices was firmly entrenched. This engraver was that mint director’s nephew, that official was another official’s son, and so on. Professionally gifted as he was, but unrelated to any person-of-influence, Gobrecht unsuccessfully pursued the position of chief engraver. And ironically, he was without question, the best qualified for the job.

One of seven children of a German immigrant minister, Gobrecht was born in 1785, in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Right away he showed a talent for mechanics and inventions. After apprenticing to a clockmaker, he moved to Philadelphia in 1811, and acclaim for his work as an engraver soon came to the attention of.... (Expand Text)