Important 1776 Continental EG FECIT Dollar AU581776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT AU58 NGC. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, R.3. The 1776 Continental pattern "dollars" smack of the emergent pride of our young nation in its formative stages, as well as of a down-to-earth, pioneer utility in their conception. These coins, struck from pewter, were unquestionably "patterns" for a proposed silver coinage, one that would stress the strength and unity of the United Colonies to the rest of the world. The 13 linked rings on the reverse are attributed to Benjamin Franklin; the obverse sundial and FUGIO inscription are based on his sketches. Franklin's influence on contemporary society today is perhaps unrealized, yet it is enormous. A perusal of the charming reprint of Poor Richard's Almanack for 1758, contained in the 2006 U.S. Mint Coin and Chronicles set, confirms his stellar wit and uncommon wisdom, full of pithy sayings that would form the bedrock of the American work ethic. Franklin published Poor Richard's Almanack from 1732 to 1757. For the final 1758 edition, he cobbled together his best aphorisms from the previous 25 years into a masterful treatise on economy and frugality. That portion of the Almanack would become his most popular work, titled The Way to Wealth. A snippet is below (spelling modernized).
... But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing. Sloth, like Rust, consumes faster than Labour wears, while the used Key is always bright, as Poor Richard says. But dost thou love Life, then do not squander Time, for that's the Stuff Life is made of, as Poor Richard says.---How much more than is necessary do we spend in Sleep! forgetting that The sleeping Fox catches no Poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the Grave, as Poor Richard says.
This popular Colonial pattern is likely to become doubly popular if there is a resurgence of interest in Franklin-related items--possibly stirred by next year's historic release of Presidential dollar coins for circulation and First Spouse gold coins. Even though Franklin was never president, his influence on the nation was--and is--incalculable, and his ties with the portentous design on this delightful coin are many and deep.
This piece has the correct CURRENCY spelling, with medium-gray surfaces that show no mentionable distractions. The fields are light, even gray, while the devices show strongly contrasting dark gray patina. The strike is sharp throughout, and the reverse is rotated approximately 100 degrees from its normal alignment. (NGC ID# 2AYU, PCGS# 795)
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