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Description

Pewter 1776 W-8460 Continental Dollar, MS65
Newman 3-D, EG FECIT

1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT MS65 PCGS. Newman 3-D, W-8460, Low R.4. Prominent clash marks appear in the obverse fields alongside minor die rust, reflecting the light to give the appearance of contact marks, hardly the case. The reverse has light die cracks through the links. The EG FECIT pieces are known with and without the obverse clash marks or reverse die cracks. Also possible is a later die state with the obverse die lapped to remove the clash marks, although we are have never seen such a piece. We are also unaware of any detailed die state studies of the Continental dollars.
In "The Continental Dollar of 1776 Meets its Maker," published in the August 1959 issue of The Numismatist, Eric Newman wrote:

"It is shocking to realize that the maker of the first coin for our independent national government has never been properly identified. ... The fact that no specific official records have ever been located with respect to the 1776 dollars has made the problem one to be solved by circumstantial evidence since action taken at some sessions of the Continental Congress and its committees in 1776 were unrecorded or lost."


Newman observed that the design of the Continental coinage used identical design motifs as found on the February 17, 1776, issue of Continental Currency fractional notes. Newman wrote:

"There is no doubt that all of the varieties of the coinage were made by the same diemaker, and it is fortunate that the initials EG were placed on one variety (3-C).
"There was no other avenue of research than to begin by looking for a qualified person with those initials. It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that in 1776 there lived an American engraver by the name of Elisha Gallaudet. Merely naming him without supporting data would satisfy no one even though no other qualified person with the initials E.G. could be found. Thus, research to prove or disprove that theory was undertaken."


At the end of his 12-page article providing substantive evidence, Newman summarized the facts that related to his conclusion that "EG" was Elisha Gallaudet. The following were his points:

1. Elisha Gallaudet was the only engraver with initials E.G. in 1776.
2. He was considered trustworthy in Treasury matters.
3. He engraved Colonial paper money for the Colony and City of New York.
4. His nephew, Peter Wallace Gallaudet, was well-connected in Philadelphia
5. Dies indicate the work of an engraver rather than a die-sinker.
6. He was an engraver but inexperienced in die-sinking.
7. He was known to his family as the man that "prepared the first United States coin."

This lovely Gem exhibits semiprooflike slate-gray surfaces with splashes of steel and golden-tan toning on each side. Some border beads are missing from imperfect centering, but all major features are readily evident. Both sides are pristine with no consequential post-production marks. The present sale offers this Gem alongside two Choice Mint State Continental dollars and an affordable AU example. Listed on page 85 of the 2013 Guide Book. Population: 3 in 65, 1 finer (6/12).
From The Liberty Collection. (PCGS# 795)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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