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    Description

    1776 Newman 1-C Continental Dollar, XF40
    America's First Silver Dollar
    Only Two Known in Silver
    The Earliest Known Silver Continental

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Silver, Newman 1-C, Breen-1091, Hodder 1-A.3, W-8450, R.8. XF40 NGC. Die alignment: 10 degrees. 376.3 grains. 93% silver, 7% copper. Ex: Garrett. The 1776 Continental dollar is a coin of tremendous historic importance. It was America's first silver dollar, the first example of the basic unit our monetary system would be based on. The coin offered here occupies a unique place in the history of our coinage. From its first auction appearance in 1871 until the discovery of a silver example of Newman 3-D in 1886, this piece was the only Continental dollar that was known in silver. The absolute rarity and fascinating history of this remarkable specimen make this offering a numismatic milestone that will be long-remembered in the hobby.

    This pleasing piece, matching the plate in the Parmelee catalog, has attractive surfaces showing delicate amber, sky-blue, and rose toning. Peripheral weakness appears near the right obverse border, and around much of the reverse. Most of the obverse border is well detailed, while the reverse shows minimal border beads. Aside from the obverse weakness that affects the N in CURENCY (discussed below), the remaining details are sharp and bold, with a prominent date and strong central device. The peripheral reverse weakness affects some of the state names, while others are sharp and clear. A previous owner has suggested that this piece was struck over a Spanish-American 8 reales piece, although we can find no evidence of this.

    Die State
    An internal die break joins the tops of GI in FUGIO, from the top of the G to the right top of the I on this important Continental dollar. There are four readily recognized die states for the Newman 1-C dollars:

    A. Perfect obverse die
    B. Heavy crack through the tops of GI in FUGIO
    C. Internal die break at the tops of GI
    D. State C die break extends to the ON and TA of CONTINENTAL, with a second die break below TA.


    Both of Donald Partrick's silver Newman 1-C Continental dollars (the only two known examples) are from Die State C. This example has radial weakness through the N in CURENCY to the outer ring, while the other example, that will be offered in a future sale of the Partrick Collection, has that weakness extending through the sundial. The evidence suggests that the present piece was struck first, and is therefore America's first silver dollar.

    Prior Discussion
    This example appeared in William H. Strobridge's sale of the Dr. Charles Clay Collection in 1871. He wrote:

    "Dollar of 1776. Obv. A sun dial, 'Continental Curency' (spelt with one r.) in a large circle, the sun moving within an inner circle, with the legend 'Fugio'; 'Mind Your Business,' in the Exergue; date below all. Rev. A large circle of rings linked together, each one bearing the name of one of the original States; 'American Congress' on a circle drawn within the circle of links; 'We Are One,' within all. Edge milled, rim dotted. Size 26. Has been considerably circulated as a coin, still in fine preservation. Extremely rare. Silver."



    Strobridge commented briefly again about this piece in the descriptive catalog of the George F. Seavey Collection, where it appeared as the first entry under the heading of Pattern Pieces:

    "A pattern from design made by Benj. Franklin, and familiar from impressions in tin, struck from the dies for distribution among the patriotic friends of the first Congress; the only one known in silver."



    Lorin G. Parmelee purchased the Seavey coins, and this example appeared 17 years later in the 1890 sale of the Parmelee Collection, where New York Coin & Stamp Co. (David Proskey and Harlan Page Smith), wrote:

    "Continental Dollar, 1776: sun shining on dial: FUGIO at left: MIND YOUR | BUSINESS, in ex.: legend CONTINENTAL CURENCY (sic) | 1776. R. in radiant circle, AMERICAN CONGRESS : inner circle WE | ARE | ONE : all surrounded by circle of thirteen links, each inscribed with name of a State : has been circulated considerably : still in good condition : exceedingly rare; silver. (Crosby, pl. VIII, No. 15, page 305).



    The buyer at the Parmelee sale was "Stone," a pseudonym for John G. Mills. The Chapman Brothers offered the Mills catalog in 1904. The Philadelphia brothers provided a more detailed description than previous catalogers:

    "1776 Dollar. CONTINENTAL CURENCY, 1776 surrounding double circle within which, sundial. Below it MIND YOUR BUSINESS; between inner and outer circle, FUGIO, and the sun, with rays shining towards the dial. Border of dots. Rev. 13 links interlinked, each bearing name of a State, enclosing in central space a double circle with rays radiating therefrom; between inner and outer circle AMERICAN CONGRESS and in the centre WE ARE ONE. Border of dots. Edge engrailed. Silver. Original. Only silver impression from these dies and but one other in silver from the die in which CURRENCY is spelled with two r's and signature of engraver E. G. FECIT. Very good and appears to have been in actual circulation. Though no records have been preserved of the authorization of this coinage yet the issuance of fractional paper notes bearing, on either side, the design of this coin would seem to show that the coinage was authorized and that the fractions of the unit were issued in paper. And the designs were used on the cents of 1787. The records of Congress and of the Government are so extremely meagre and omit mention of so much business that came before them that the omission of a record does not prove that such an issue was not authorized or intended."



    As the Chapman's pointed out, this coin actually circulated as money in the earliest days of our country's history. As one of only two known examples of the Newman 1-C, and one of only four 1776 Continental dollars of all die varieties in silver, this coin offers an irresistible combination of rarity and historic interest. It should appeal to collectors of all disciplines and we expect intense competition when this lot is called.

    Census of 1776 Newman 1-C in Silver
    XF40 NGC. Dr. Charles Clay (W.H. Strobridge, 12/1871), lot 867; George F. Seavey (W.H. Strobridge, 1873 Descriptive Catalog), lot 836; Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin & Stamp Co., 6/1890), lot 573; "Stone;" John G. Mills (Chapman Brothers, 4/1904), lot 110; Col. James W. Ellsworth; Knoedler Galleries; Wayte Raymond and John Work Garrett in 1923; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1491; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 2; Jon Hanson; Donald Groves Partrick. The present piece.

    VF35 NGC. Corrado Romano; Romano Estate; Romano Collection (Stack's, 6/1987), lot 24; John Jay Ford, Jr.; Ford Collection, Part VII (Stack's, 1/2005), lot 159; Donald Groves Partrick. Slated to appear in a future Partrick sale.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2AYS, Variety PCGS# 793, Base PCGS# 791)


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

    View all of [The Partrick Collection ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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