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The Seated Liberty dollar was a dollar coin struck by the United States Mint from 1840 to 1873 and designed by its chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht. The coin's obverse is based on that of the Gobrecht dollar, which had been minted experimentally from 1836 to 1839. However, the soaring eagle used on the reverse of the Gobrecht dollar was not used; instead, the United States Mint used a heraldic eagle, based on a design by late Mint Chief Engraver John Reich first utilized on coins in 1807.
The coins were struck in limited quantities, heavily exported, and later melted, making the number of overall surviving specimens limited.
Depicts the figure of Liberty clad in a flowing dress and seated upon a rock. In her left hand, she holds a Liberty pole surmounted by a Phrygian cap, which had been a pre-eminent symbol of freedom during the movement of Neoclassicism (and in fact traces its roots back to Ancient Greece and Rome). Liberty's right hand rested on the top corner of a striped shield with a diagonal banner inscribed with the word "Liberty". The shield represented preparedness in the defense of freedom. The date of the coin appeared on the bottom below Liberty. Arrows are on each side of the date. Thirteen six-pointed stars around the rim, commemorating the original thirteen colonies.
A left-facing bald eagle about to take flight, with a striped shield upon its breast. The eagle clutched an olive branch of peace in its right talons and a group of arrows in its left talons. Rays are around the eagle. Above the eagle around the rim were the words "United States of America" and below the eagle around the rim lay the coin denomination.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA