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    Description

    1776 Continental Dollar, MS63
    Rare Newman 1-B in Pewter
    Ex: Richard Picker

    1776 Continental Dollar, CURENCY, Pewter, Newman 1-B, Breen-1086, Hodder 1-A.2, W-8435, High R.7, MS63 NGC. The Newman 1-B variety of the 1776 Continental dollar in pewter is a rare issue that was unknown to Eric Newman when he published his seminal work on the series in 1952. Although first reported in Lester Merkin's catalog of the George J. Bauer Collection in 1968, the coin in that sale was withdrawn. The Newman 1-B in pewter is actually more elusive than the better-known examples of this design in brass, with seven known today. The coin offered here is now believed to be the discovery coin for the issue and it is the third finest known. Heritage Auctions is pleased to present this significant early American rarity.

    The Newman 1-B was struck from the same obverse die as the Newman 1-A and Newman 1-C varieties, with the word CURENCY misspelled in the legend. These three varieties are actually just different states of the same die pairing with most of the differences seen on the reverse. On Newman 1-A, the rings on the reverse appear as dotted lines, while the rings on Newman 1-B have been reworked and strengthened, so that the lines appear solid in some places, with the original dots still visible along the edges. On Newman 1-C, after further lapping and strengthening, the rings appear as thick solid lines, with the dots eliminated.

    There has been much discussion in recent years regarding the origin and purpose of the 1776 Continental dollar. Eric P. Newman concluded the coins were issued by the Continental Congress in the later part of 1776, replacing the $1 paper note which was eliminated from the six issues of Continental Currency that were emitted from July 22, 1776 through September 26, 1778. Also, Newman believed the pewter Continental dollars were intended to act as fiat money in this time period and to serve as a symbol of American sovereignty.

    Erik Goldstein and David McCarthy introduced another theory about the coins in their January 2018 article in The Numismatist, titled "the Myth of the Continental Dollar." Citing previously unpublished statements from contemporary numismatists Pierre Eugene Du Simitiere and Sarah Sophia Banks, and a leaflet in Banks' papers at the British Museum, the authors theorized that the Continental dollars were actually struck as souvenir medals in England, circa 1783.

    In the second edition of his standard reference, The Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins, Q. David Bowers subscribes to the belief that the Continental dollars were fiat coinage. He notes the coin-style edges of the Continental dollars, unlike those on contemporary medals, and the fact that the coins are denominated as CURRENCY, not medals, with many of the devices copied from the contemporary paper issues. Further, he notes that there are no records of any sales of such medals in the United States, despite Banks' statement that they were made for sale here. Bowers also points out the medals could not have been sold for profit at the price of sixpence each, the figure appearing on the leaflet in the British Museum, considering the cost of metal, engraving, production and distribution.

    The present coin is an impressive and iconic item, with sharply detailed design elements and lightly marked, lustrous surfaces. This coin possesses a combination of high technical quality, strong eye appeal, and intense historic interest. It will enhance an advanced collection of early American coinage. Listed on page 87 of the 2021 Guide Book.

    Census of Newman 1-B in Pewter
    1. MS64 NGC. Jon Hanson (10/1/2000), Donald G. Partrick, Partrick Collection, Part I (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5837, realized $199,750.
    2. MS63 PCGS. Collection of a Patriotic American (Heritage, 7/2009), lot 1001, realized $161,000.
    3. MS63 NGC. Richard Picker (privately, 3/17/1971 @ $3,000); Donald G. Partrick. Currently considered the discovery coin. The present coin.
    4. AU55 NGC. Richard Picker Collection (Stack's, 10/1984), lot 117; Eric P. Newman; Edward P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; Selections From the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part XI (Heritage, 11/2018), lot 15002, realized $57,600.
    5. AU Details PCGS. Americana Sale (Stack's, 1/2008), lot 5613; Public Auction (Coin Galleries, 8/2009), lot 3019; Chicago Sale (Stack's Bowers, 8/2011, lot 6140, where it was misattributed as Newman 1-C; Thadeus Tatum III; ANA Convention Auction (Stack's Bowers, 8/2018), lot 1004.
    6. VF. Possibly George J. Bauer Collection (Lester Merkin, 11/1968), lot 100, withdrawn prior to the sale.
    7. Fine 12. Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 9/2006), lot 113.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2AYN, PCGS# 791)


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    22nd-25th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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