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Lot
1003

1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter MS64 PCGS. CAC....

2009 August Los Angeles, CA US Coin Auction #1128

 
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Auction Ended On: Jul 31, 2009
Item Activity: 13 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location:

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Description:
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Extraordinary 1776 Continental Dollar, MS64
Newman 1-C, Intermediate Die State
1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter MS64 PCGS. CAC. Newman 1-C, Hodder 1-A.3, W-8445, R.3. Intermediate die state. This variety is clearly the most plentiful of all the Continental Currency coins, and it is available in a wide range of grades from well circulated (for those on a budget) to Choice Mint State (for the connoisseur). Higher grade circulated pieces can also be located for those connoisseurs who are on a budget. The example here is an early intermediate die state. An internal obverse cud or die break connects the top of the G to the outer ring, and extends to the left top of the I. This die break fails to connect the top of I to the outer ring. On later die states it is a solid break from left of the G to right of the I. There is no evidence of the late state die cracks that extend left or right to the border.
This gorgeous piece is presented for the connoisseur, the type collector who truly appreciates the finest available quality. This piece is the fourth example of the variety that we have presented in MS64, and we have never offered a finer piece. A splendid light gray specimen with excellent luster and pristine surfaces, this pewter dollar ranks among the finest survivors of its die pair. A tiny dark area between the 7 and 6 in the date will serve provenance aficionados. Population: 9 in 64, 2 finer (6/09).

Iconography of the Continental Currency Coinage

Each individual design element or inscription on the Continental dollars is an important and tangible reminder of the most important period in our national history. Of course, the phrase CONTINENTAL CURRENCY identifies the coin and suggests that it is legal tender money, an official issue of the Continental government. In addition to identification of the age of these pieces, the date 1776 reminds us of our nation's fight for independence. FUGIO was undoubtedly inspired by Benjamin Franklin. Time flies or waits for no man, and the same is true today. The sun and sun dial clearly solidify the concept. Today, the phrase MIND YOUR BUSINESS suggests that a person should stay out of the affairs of another. In 18th century America the phrase was taken more literally, meaning that one should keep his personal or business affairs in full and proper order.
The phrase WE ARE ONE accompanying the 13 linked rings on the reverse clearly allude to the unity of the states and the young nation. AMERICAN CONGRESS positively identifies the issuing authority for these coins. There is no doubt that Benjamin Franklin was the major or sole influence for the design of the Continental Currency coinage, even though die production was left to another.
A perusal of the charming reprint of Poor Richard's Almanack for 1758, contained in the 2006 U.S. Mint Coin and Chronicles set, confirms his stellar wit and uncommon wisdom, full of pithy sayings that would form the bedrock of the American work ethic. Franklin published Poor Richard's Almanack from 1732 to 1757. For the final 1758 edition, he cobbled together his best aphorisms from the previous 25 years into a masterful treatise on economy and frugality. That portion of the Almanack would become his most popular work, titled The Way to Wealth. A snippet is below (spelling modernized).

... But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing. Sloth, like Rust, consumes faster than Labour wears, while the used Key is always bright, as Poor Richard says. But dost thou love Life, then do not squander Time, for that's the Stuff Life is made of, as Poor Richard says.---How much more than is necessary do we spend in Sleep! forgetting that The sleeping Fox catches no Poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the Grave, as Poor Richard says.

This popular Colonial pattern is likely to become doubly popular if there is a resurgence of interest in Franklin-related items--possibly stirred by last year's historic release of Presidential dollar coins for circulation and First Spouse gold coins. Even though Franklin was never president, his influence on the nation was--and is--incalculable, and his ties with the portentous design on this delightful coin are many and deep.
From The Collection of a Patriotic American. (PCGS# 791)

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