1776 $1 CURRENCY, Pewter MS (PCGS# 794)

The September 2011 Philadelphia Americana Sale

  • Auctioneer:
    Stack's Bowers
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Lot Description
1776 Continental Dollar. CURRENCY. Newman 2-C, W-8455. URS-10. Pewter. MS-64 (NGC). Satiny and lustrous steel gray with bold white mint frost in the protected areas. Nicely centered and equally nice in strike quality with full design elements on both sides. We note a tiny spot of tin pest on the reverse at the South Carolina ring, otherwise we're hard-pressed to offer up any other criticisms.&nbsp;Interestingly enough, the sun's face on this variety seems to be <em>scowling.</em> Possessed of the most <em>historical</em> of all dates in American history, certainly more so than 1492, 1620, or any other dates, the Continental Currency issue of 1776 represents the only available coinage produced in America with the year of our Revolutionary birth as its most prominent calling card. Choice and appealing, a coin that would be a "superstar" in any&nbsp;gathering of colonial-era coinage.<br /> The origin of the Continental dollars of 1776 is shrouded in mystery, although&nbsp;it is almost certainly rooted in the desire of the Continental Congress to issue a circulating medium of exchange that would help the United Colonies fight the war for independence from Great Britain. What we do know for certain is that the Continental Congress passed four resolutions during 1776 for the issuance of&nbsp;<em>paper currency</em>. The first two resolutions,&nbsp;dated to the month of February and&nbsp;May 9, provided for various denominations of paper currency that included the $1 note. The resolutions of July 22 and November 2, however, failed&nbsp;did not include the $1 denomination. It seems likely, therefore, that the Continental Congress had plans to replace the paper $1 note with the metallic Continental dollars.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The greatest number of Continental dollars produced were struck in pewter, and these may have been the pieces that the Continental Congress intended for function in place of the $1 notes. It is likely, however, that the original plan also inc
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