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    1776 Silver Continental Dollar, MS62
    Newman 3-D, EG FECIT
    One of Two Known in Silver
    A 'Hard Money' Example

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Silver, EG FECIT, Newman 3-D, Breen-1096, Hodder 3-B, W-8470, R.8. MS62 NGC. Die alignment: 45 degrees. 362.4 grains. 89% silver, 10% copper. Ex: Boyd. The 1776 Continental dollar is a fascinating subject for students of history, economics, and numismatics alike. It is the first representation of the basic unit of the United States coinage system, a unit that would come to have unrivaled importance in international trade, whose ups and downs affect the increasingly interlocked worldwide economy more than any other issue. The coin offered here served as a medium of exchange in the difficult early days of our country, when the success of that venture was very much in doubt. It deserves a prominent place in the finest collection in the land.

    Although the pewter Continental dollars were often repudiated during the dark days of the Revolution, the importance of the dollar was recognized by the international community at an early date. In an article in the July 2014 issue of The Numismatist, researchers Eric P. Newman and Maureen Levine note that an illustration of the Continental dollar appeared as early as 1783 in Matthias Christian Sprengel's Historisch-genealogischer Calender, oder Jahrbuch der merkwurdigsten neuen Welt-Begebenheiten, fur 1784 (Historical and Genealogical Almanac, or Yearbook of the Most Remarkable New World Events for 1784). Two years later, Richard Watson published an analysis of a Pewter example of the Continental dollar in his better-known Chemical Essays. When the direct descendants of the Continental dollar (the Flowing Hair and Draped Bust types) began to appear in 1794, they were recognized and widely accepted in international trade. Today, silver examples of the 1776 Continental dollar are so rare that few numismatists have the opportunity to acquire one. Heritage Auctions has offered only one specimen of the 1776 Continental dollar in silver prior to this sale, that piece being the other silver example of the Newman 3-D variety, which realized $1.4 million in the sale of the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part IV in May of 2014.

    Faint surface reflectivity appears on the obverse of this attractive silver piece. Both sides exhibit pleasing silver-gray surfaces with lovely pale blue and rose toning. The strike is bold throughout, with the border details narrow in places, but complete except at the bottom of the reverse. Apparent rim imperfections are the result of the edge device affecting the strike of this lovely Continental dollar. The twin-leaf edge is visible around the entire circumference.

    Stack's offered this piece in December 1947, writing:

    "1776 Continental Dollar in Silver. Sundial in center with MIND YOUR BUSINESS below encircled by band bearing I.G. FECIT [sic] at bottom; two R's in CURRENCY. Reverse: Thirteen circles, each bearing a colony [sic] name, in chain form surrounds a double bordered central circle bearing AMERICAN CONGRESS around and WE ARE ONE in the center field. This is the Granberg specimen from the collection of the late Colonel Green. May be unique. In choice condition."

    Die Notes
    The basic design is the same as the previous Continental dollar varieties, Newman 1-A through 2-C, although obverse 3 has the addition of the engraver's signature, EG FECIT, at the bottom of the central ring. The E in CONTINENTAL and the I in BUSINESS are both dramatically recut. Like obverse two, several of the rays are disconnected from the sun. The sundial has a gap at 3 o'clock, and the Roman numerals are illogical: I II III [IIII] V VI VII XII X IX IIX. The Roman numeral IIII, partially obscured on Newman 2-C, is not seen here as the gnomon occupies that position. That for 8 o'clock is represented by IIX, 9 o'clock is omitted, perhaps a representation of Benjamin Franklin's daylight savings time, and XI and XII are inverted in relation to the face of the sundial.

    The reverse design is similar to the first reverse, although the geography is corrected, with the New Hampshire ring at 12 o'clock, left of the Massachusetts rings. The spelling is the same as before: N HAMPS, MASSACHS, CONNECT'T, R. ISLAND, N. YORKE, N. JERSEY, PENNSILV, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, N. CAROLIN, S. CAROLIN, and GEORGIA. The N in AMERICAN is the same size as the other letters. The glory of rays is prominent outside of CONGRESS, and attenuated outside of AMERICAN.

    Census of 1776 Newman 3-D in Silver
    Two examples were recorded in the Green Collection appraisal, including this example that appears in the 1947 Theodore Grand sale, and the other that we sold in May 2014 as part of the Eric P. Newman Collection Part IV.

    MS63 NGC. British auction sale, probably the Williams, Smith, Clark and Solly Collections (Sotheby's, 12/1886); two unknown intermediaries; S.H. & H. Chapman; consigned by the Chapman brothers to the Frank McCoye Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 5/1887), lot 238, withdrawn; George H. Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2132, realized $2,200; Waldo Newcomer (Inventory number 2751), exhibited at the 1914 ANS Exhibition, described on page 21 and illustrated on Plate 13 of the catalog; sold to "Col." E.H.R. Green in 1933, via B. Max Mehl; Green Estate; Burdette G. Johnson in the early 1940s; Johnson Estate; Mary Cruzan; purchased by Eric P. Newman in May of 1956 for $2,500; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (Heritage 11/2014) lot 30423. The discovery coin.

    MS62 NGC. H.O. Granberg, purchased sometime before 1911, exhibited at the 1911 ANA Convention in Chicago; exhibited at the 1914 ANS Exhibition, described on page 19 of the catalog; "Col." E.H.R. Green; Theodore Grand Collection (Stack's, 12/1947), lot 10; F.C.C. Boyd; Boyd Estate; John Jay Ford, Jr.; Ford Collection, Part I (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 7; Jon Hanson; Donald Groves Partrick. The present piece.

    Ex: H.O. Granberg; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Theodore Grand Sale (Stack's, 12/1947), lot 10; F.C.C. Boyd; Boyd Estate; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 7; Donald Groves Partrick.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2AYV, PCGS# 796)

    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
    Page Views: 6,519

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