Lot #12. 1776 Continental Dollar. Breen-1092, Crosby Pl. VIII, 16, Newman 2-C. CURRENCY, Pewter. AU-58 (NGC).
The January 2009 Orlando Rarities Sale - 1/4/2009
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This coin exhibits dominant silver-gray tinting to both sides, although we do note scattered speckles of warmer olive-russet patina. The overall appearance is a but muted in sheen--a very common characteristic for Continental Dollars struck in this composition--but direct angles do reveal considerable "flash" in the fields from an impressive semi-prooflike finish. Overall sharply struck with the reverse rotated nearly 90 degrees counterclockwise, as often seen for examples of this variety.
The Continental Dollars of 1776 represent the first Silver Dollar-size coins issued by the United Colonies. Although regular-issue examples were supposed to have been struck in silver, a lack of bullion caused an early termination of this ambitious project. Several brass and pewter (actually tin) examples have survived, however, these coins probably representing either some type of trial striking or possibly even a plan to issue smaller-denomination coins in less valuable metals. All such pieces are rare-to-very rare in numismatic circles and enjoy strong demand even among non-collectors due to their historical significance.