1776 $1 EG FECIT, Pewter MS (PCGS# 795)

2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando #1166

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    3006
  • Grade:
    MS67
  • Price:
    $546,250.00
Lot Description
1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT MS67 NGC. Newman 3-D, Hodder 3-B, W-8460, Low R.4. In the first edition of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth listed the 1776 Continental dollars in 12th place. In the third edition of that reference, the ranking was raised to the 10th spot. Therefore, the 1776 Continental dollars would be included in the shorter book, the 10 Greatest U.S. Coins, if someone were to write such a book. Garrett and Guth comment: {blockquote}"In 1776, American Patriotism reached a fever pitch. The Revolutionary War was already well under way, and America's representatives felt confident enough to declare independence from Great Britain on July 4. To celebrate their newly found independence and to show the world that they were part of a sovereign nation capable of producing its own money, the Continental Congress initiated a plan to produce the first American coins."{/blockquote} Patterns or Regular Issues Experimental pieces were struck in copper and brass, and a few others were struck in silver. Both varieties are extremely rare. Most Continental dollars, like this piece, were coined in pewter, and those are the pieces that probably made their way into circulation in the late 1770s. Walter Breen called all of these pieces "patterns" and further suggested that the copper and brass pieces were intended as pence coins. However, patterns coins, then as now, were not intended for circulation, and only a few large mintage issues actually saw use in commerce. Examples include the 1856 Flying Eagle cent and the 1836 Gobrecht dollar. Today, those issues are routinely collected alongside regular issue coins of their denomination. Whatever was actually intended in 1776, these pieces must be considered regular issue coins of America, issued in the year of independence. Further from Garrett and Guth: {blockquote}"A number of patterns were struck in a variety of metals: brass, tin, copper, and silver. Quantities of circulating co
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