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    Description

    1776 Continental Dollar, AU55
    Newman 1-B, Rare in Pewter
    Ex: The Richard Picker Collection

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter AU55 NGC. Newman 1-B, Breen-1086, Hodder 1-A.2, W-8435, High R.7. Pewter examples of the 1-B variety were unknown to Eric P. Newman in 1953. They are considerably rarer than brass examples of the variety, which makes this Choice About Uncirculated pewter example an important opportunity for Colonial specialists. We know of just six surviving coins struck in pewter from the 1-B die pair. In comparison, more than a dozen brass strikings are known from the 1-B dies.

    Eric acquired his pewter 1-B specimen as lot 117 in the October 1984 Stack's auction of Selections from the Richard Picker Collection. There, it was described as:

    "Very well struck, especially the diagnostic features. Perfectly centered with no corrosion or other marks. Even medium gray toning with some lustre in the letters. Certainly one of the most important pieces in this or any other sale of Early American coins."



    The 1-B variety shares its obverse with the 1-C. Only a few distinguishing features separate the two varieties. In its early die state, the 1-C obverse is nearly identical to 1-B, although later states show a diagnostic die crack above GIO in FUGIO. The reverse of the 1-B shows crude reworking of the die to strengthen the linked circles, which were previously formed from a series of disconnected dots as seen on the 1-A variety. On 1-B, traces of the original dots remain clearly visible along the edges of the now-solid rings. Die lapping and additional die reworking on 1-C altogether eliminates the dots. Rays outside the center ring near RESS of CONGRESS come fully formed on Newman 1-B, but they are often attenuated on 1-C in mid-to-late die states. A pellet-like die chip near the Pennsylvania ring center of this 1-B is clear to the unaided eye, a feature that is absent on 1-C examples.

    While the origin and purpose of the 1776 Continental dollar has long been an intriguing topic of discussion among numismatists and researchers, Eric P. Newman believed that these coins were American-made. Further, the fact that the Continental Currency paper $1 notes were eliminated from the six issues from July 22, 1776, through September 26, 1778, indicates that Congress planned for a $1 coin, and that the Continental dollar was used as fiat money. Multiple varieties of the Continental dollar exist, and varying quantities of coins were struck in pewter, brass, and silver from multiple die combinations and die stages. Today, there are either six or seven pewter Newman 1-B dollars confirmed, depending on the status of the 1968 Merkin coin.

    Census of Newman 1-B in Pewter

    1. MS64 NGC. Jon Hanson; The Donald G. Partrick Collection (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5837.
    2. MS63 PCGS. Collection of a Patriotic American (Heritage, 7/2009), lot 1001.
    3. MS63 NGC. Richard Picker (privately, 3/17/71 @ $3,000); Donald G. Partrick. The discovery specimen.
    4. AU55 NGC. Richard Picker Collection (Stack's, 10/1984), lot 117; Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. The present specimen.
    5. AU Details PCGS. Americana Sale (Stack's, 1/2008), lot 5613; Coin Galleries (8/2009), lot 3019; Chicago Sale (Stack's-Bowers, 8/2011), lot 6140, where it was misattributed as Newman 1-C; Thaddeus Tatum.
    6. VF. Lester Merkin (11/1968), lot 100, withdrawn prior to the sale, its attribution in question.
    7. Fine 12 PCGS. Stack's (9/2006), lot 113.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. (NGC ID# 2AYN, PCGS# 791)


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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