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Highly Collectible 1776 Continental "Dollar" Correct CURRENCY Spelling 1776 Continental Dollar. CURR

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:10.00 USD Estimated At:0.00 - 0.00 USD
Highly Collectible 1776 Continental  Dollar  Correct CURRENCY Spelling 1776 Continental Dollar. CURR
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Highly Collectible 1776 Continental "Dollar"
Correct CURRENCY Spelling 1776 Continental Dollar. CURRENCY. Newman 2-C, W-8455. URS-10. Pewter. EF Details – Obverse Scratch. NCS. Die alignment: 100 degrees. Deep steel-gray with areas that verge on slate here and there. Evenly circulated but with full design elements in evidence, this specimen bears attention – it is, after all, a Continental Dollar! Obverse scratch from the sun’s rays at the right downward on a faint arc alongside the sun dial, then downward again, passing between the I and N in MIND, and terminating at the U of BUSINESS. No other marks are liable to draw the viewer’s eye despite this coin’s soft metallic composition and modest stay in circulation.

Perhaps no other date is more ingrained in the American nature than July 4, 1776. You may not know your neighbor’s birthday, or even your first cousin’s or Grandma’s birthday, but if you are an American, you know exactly what day and year our nation was born!

The so-called Continental Dollar is one of the very few numismatic items found in the Redbook emblazoned with this date, and it is probably for this reason, as well as its singular design and size, that this unusual and mysterious item has become one of the most popular items collected as a part of the Early U.S. series.

Unfortunately, we’re not quite certain when and where the Continental Currency pieces were “born.”

The most widely cited hypothesis – first floated by Eric Newman in a series of articles written in the 1950s - suggests that these enigmatic pieces were struck on behalf of Continental Congress in the Summer of 1776, as a replacement for paper Continental Currency. Congress passed resolutions, one in February, another on May 9, calling for paper currency in various denominations that included the dollar denomination, and that the July 22 and November 2 resolutions, did not include the dollar denomination. However, no evidence exists in the Journals of Continental Congress to suggest that a coinage was ever considered in 1776. In fact, the first (unsuccessful) proposal to establish a mint was not considered by the legislature until 1777.

Recent primary-source research has cast doubt on an American source for these pieces. Two of the greatest numismatists of the late 18th-Century identified them as a European product.

Sarah Sophia Banks, perhaps the pre-eminent British collector of her time, described her example as follows: “Congress Dollar. 1776. never current, struck on speculation in Europe, for sale in America.” Alongside her description, written during in the 1780s, she pasted a “medal explication” offering “These American MEDALS at Six-Pence Each”.

Pierre Eugene du Simitiere – a voracious numismatist, resident of Philadelphia from 1760 until his death in 1784, and sometime employee of Continental Congress – described these pieces in the notes for his planned history of the American colonial period and the Revolution as illustrated by “Medals, Seals, Coins, Devices, Statues, Monuments, Badges, &c…” as

A coin of the Size of a Crown, with devices and Mottos taken from the continental money, Struck’t in London on Type-Metal, and dated 1776.

A few years later, none other than Paul Revere weighed in on the subject, saying, “As for pewter money struck in America, I never saw any, I have made careful enquiry, and have all the reason in the world to believe that you were imposed upon by those who informed you.”

While the source of these enigmatic pieces will undoubtedly remain the source of a spirited debate among numismatic scholars, it will certainly remain a well-loved part of the canon of U.S. Numismatics, and we believe that Montroville Dickeson, author of the “The American Numismatic Manual” had it right when he wrote,

By whomever designed, this coin or medal unburdened the patriotic genius of some one, and it was eminently worthy of the glorious period whose date it bears.