Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 1370

1776 Continental Currency. "CURRENCY EG FECIT". Pewter. PCGS graded MS-65. Boldly struck. Light mottled grey toning with lots of flashy luster present. Newman 3-D, W-8460, Low R.4. Diagnostics for this important rarity, from the Heritage Auctions description of the Liberty Collection coin, "Prominent clash marks appear in the obverse fields alongside minor die rust, reflecting the light to give the appearance of contact marks, hardly the case. The reverse has light die cracks through the links. The EG FECIT pieces are known with and without the obverse clash marks or reverse die cracks. Also possible is a later die state with the obverse die lapped to remove the clash marks, although we are have never seen such a piece. We are also unaware of any detailed die state studies of the Continental dollars."

This exquisite Gem Mint State 65 Continental Currency coin stands on its own in exhibiting lovely semiprooflike surfaces with steel and golden colored highlights on each side. Some border beads are off the rim from imperfect centering, but the major features are readily apparent, indeed, remarkably full and keen-edged from a smooth blow by the coining dies. Both sides are pristine with no unnerving post-production marks. The present sale offers this Gem alongside our counsel to award it a high bid proportionate with its historic and numismatic magnitude. Pop 3; 1 finer in 66 (PCGS # 795) .

The Continental Currency unit is the first large, dollar-size coin proposed for the United States. A private issue, whose types derive ultimately from designs popularized by Benjamin Franklin, its place of minting and ultimate coinage purpose remain obscure. Silver specimens, which are very rare, appear to have been struck to a close approximation of the value of a dollar on the New York standard ($1 = 8 shillings). Specimens struck in metal de clochemay have served some currency purpose, perhaps passing as pence (again, on the New York standard, at 12 pence to the shilling). The tin specimens, which are the most commonly encountered today, can have only a conjectural purpose. Possibly, they were intended as tokens, although it would be difficult to understand why they should be accepted in trade in lieu of good weight (or even, for that matter, no weight) halfpence, both royal and counterfeit. Possibly they were pattern strikes, as has been proposed elsewhere, but in this case, the number of patterns surviving surpasses the number of pieces struck with a currency intent. Another suggestion holds that with the shortage of copper early in the Revolutionary War, the metal necessary for the casting of cannons, the issue originally intended in metal de clochewas replaced by an issue in tin. At present, none of these questions is absolutely answered. A metrological study of the Continental Currency tends to suggest New York as the place of minting.
Estimated Value $150,000 - 175,000.
Ex: Liberty Collection.

Realized $212,750

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