Memorable 1776 Pewter Continental Dollar

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT AU53 NGC. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, R.3. The precise status of the so-called Continental dollar is unclear in the economy of the early United States is not precisely known. It may have been intended to retire circulating Continental paper currency, and it may well have also served as a pattern for a planned issuance of silver dollars. What is nearly certain is that Elisha Gallaudet is the EG who engraved at least one set of dies--hence the EG FECIT on this variety.
    What is beyond a doubt is that these pieces, whatever their precise nature, are incredibly popular with collectors today. As the only dollar-sized U.S. numismatic issue dated 1776, they are collected by many alongside the early U.S. federal silver dollars. Also beyond the shadow of a doubt is that Benjamin Franklin's stamp is all over these pieces, even if he did not personally sign them. The MIND YOUR BUSINESS under the sundial does not mean "Mind your own business" in the modern sense of "Stay out of others' affairs," but much more "Make hay while the sun shines."
    Gallaudet was previously known for his work on the Feb. 17, 1776, Continental Currency fractional notes, also bearing sundial and links, after sketches by Franklin. The thematic similarity between the paper and pewter pieces suggests that one was clearly intended as backing or complement to the other.
    This piece has lovely silver-gray surfaces with premium appeal. The E in FECIT is soft, perhaps due to die filling, and some minor planchet flaws and rim irregularities appear here and there. However, this piece has a far above-average appearance compared to many pieces seen in the marketplace. In particular, all of the entwined links on the reverse are boldly struck up, with little of the weakness usually seen on those details, and all lettering on the state abbreviations legible to bold within the links. This wonderful piece presents a memorable opportunity for the collector of historic U.S. coinage. Listed on page 81 of the 2009 Guide Book. (NGC ID# 2AYU, PCGS# 795)

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    Auction Dates
    May-Jun, 2008
    28th-2nd Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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