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    Description

    1776 Newman 3-D Continental Dollar
    MS63
    Exceptional EG Fecit Variant

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT MS63 NGC. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, W-8460, R.4. There has been considerable debate in the last few years regarding the origin and intended purpose of these pieces that are traditionally called "Continental dollars" or "Continental Currency." The variety offered here is signed "EG Fecit" meaning someone whose initials were EG engraved the dies. Eric P. Newman identified the engraver as Elisha Gallaudet.

    Numismatic tradition suggests that these pieces were coined in New York or in Philadelphia and possibly intended as a substitute for the paper dollar. The denomination is suggested due to the size similarity to the Spanish milled dollar that circulated in colonial America. Today, several varieties are known in brass, pewter, and silver.

    The earliest known illustration of these pieces was in the German book Historical and Genealogical Almanac, or Yearbook of the Most Remarkable New World Events for 1784, by Matthias Christian Sprengel and published in 1783. For the benefit of German readers, the inscriptions on the illustrated pieces were translated into the German language. Another reference published a few years later was Bishop Richard Watkins' Chemical Essays that suggested the coins were American in origin. After noting that James II melted down the brass guns of Ireland for coinage known today as gun money, the author observed that the American Congress had recourse to the same expedient.

    Others have disputed the American origin of these pieces, suggesting that they were struck in Europe in the early 1780s, and that they were offered for sale as medals, rather than circulating coinage. An early European collector, Lady Sarah Sophia Banks observed that these pieces were never current, and that they were struck on speculation in Europe for sale in America.

    This impressive piece has brilliant light and medium gray color, lighter in the fields and darker on the devices. Both sides have satiny luster, especially in the protected areas. An exceptional quality piece for the advanced numismatic student. (NGC ID# 2AYU, PCGS# 795)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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