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Rare 1776 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter, MS63

1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter MS63 NGC. CAC. Breen-1089, Newman 1-C, Hodder 1-A.3, R.3. Jeff Garret and Ron Guth recognized the importance of the so-called Continental dollar by including it as the number 12 entry in their 2003 publication 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. They estimate the surviving population of the type as follows: "Several silver are known, fewer than 10 in brass, and probably 1,000 to 2,000 in pewter."
The obverse shows a sundial with Roman numerals beneath the rays of a blazing sun that hangs in the sky above. Directly below the sundial are the words MIND YOUR BUSINESS, a Benjamin Franklinesque admonition that echoes Franklin's actual involvement with the Continental dollars (Franklin and future Mint Director David Rittenhouse provided suggestions to Elisha Gallaudet, a New Jersey engraver who actually executed the design and prepared the dies.)
To the left of the sundial is the word FUGIO, which in Latin translates literally as: "I flee." The placement of this word beside a sundial is interpreted to mean: "Time flies." Along the obverse periphery are the date (1776) across the lower edge, and CONTINENTAL CURENCY along the remaining peripheries (on some pieces this is spelled as either CURRENCY or CURRENCEY). Thirteen linked double rings encircle the reverse, and show the names of the thirteen original American colonies, while a larger double ring appears in the reverse center, with AMERICAN CONGRESS inscribed in its outer circle, and WE ARE ONE in the interior.
This is a remarkable, very high-grade example for the type and the variety, with deep pearl-gray surfaces that are free of noticeable distractions in any of the central regions, and show just a few stray nicks and small blemishes away from the focal areas. A pair of small charcoal-gray spots are located, respectively, below C and over the lower right upright of the second N in CONTINENTAL. The intense, satiny mint luster that flashes across each side of this memorable coin is one of its most outstanding attributes. The piece is from a late die state, with a thick, arcing die crack through the O to the second T and ending near the top of A in CONTINENTAL. A leftward branch from the top of this die crack seems to attenuate the upper right crossbar of the second T.
NGC has seen few examples of the CURENCY Continental dollar that compare to this one. In fact, in more than two decades of activity, the company has certified a mere four pieces at MS63, and just four other coins finer, as of (1/08). Listed on page 81 of the 2008 Guide Book.
From The Southwest Collection. (NGC ID# 2AYN, PCGS# 791)

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Auction Dates
February, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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