A nicely preserved example of this American classic. Good lustrous flash remains on both sides, which show some minor evidence of handling but no significant friction – we would not be surprised to see this piece shed the old green label holder in which Jim bought this coin in 1996 and someday find a new one with a higher grade. The pewter surfaces show no evidence of tin pest. As often seen on this variety, a small internal cud is present over GI of FUGIO; the two silver examples from these dies were struck from the same die state. The rims are sound and no damage or major faults are noted, just the merest friction, perhaps even a week's worth of circulation on the soft surfaces.
Jim called this coin “the centerpiece of my colonial collection” and reveled in its historical associations. Its design was by Benjamin Franklin, and its mysterious origins perhaps trace themselves to New Jersey, where engraver Elisha Gallaudet was working at the time. Jim described its legends as recalling “the conscientiousness and frugality of 'Poor Richard,'” sentiments that struck a chord with him.
Today, Continental dollars are classics, the only collectible American coin dated 1776, and the first metallic appearance of this most famous early American design. Jim paired his with a specimen of the February 1776 Continental paper money that featured this same design. Off the market for 15 years, this piece will hopefully find another well-formed cabinet to highlight.
Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers
The above description is so comprehensive it is difficult to add much. This indeed is an early American classic, and the specimen here offered is quite attractive. As I write this description I have just returned from spending a day at the New Hampshire Historical Society. One of their foremost treasures, exhibited high on the wall on the stairway above the entrance, is a banner of virtually exactly the same reverse design, dating from the Revolutionary War era and in color. It is interesting to examine the lettering on the coin. The state abbreviations in some instances are a bit different from what we use today.
As stated, this coin would be a nice addition to any advanced collection.
From the Collection of Jim Jones. Purchased from Bowers and Merena on February 24, 1996.