1776 Continental dollar 'affordable' in Poor 1: Market Analysis

Well-worn coins can provide affordable entry point for collectors
By , Coin World
Published : 04/05/16
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Poor 1. It is as low as it gets on Dr. William H. Sheldon’s 1 to 70 grading scale that’s used today for U.S. coins. The grade is generally defined as representing a coin that’s clear enough to identify, with a date and Mint mark that may be nearly worn smooth and a reverse that can be nearly blank as all the details have worn. Generally, it’s hard to find a Poor 1 coin that doesn’t have another problem, like corrosion/environmental damage, harsh cleaning or rim damage.  

The Coin:

1776 Continental CURENCY Dollar, Pewter, Poor/Fair Details, Damaged

The Price:


The Story:

Collectors have long desired 1776 Continental Currency dollars, as they are often thought of as America’s first dollar coins. Continental Currency dollars were struck in silver as well, but are most commonly seen in pewter. Curiously, this variety — Newman 1-C in Eric P. Newman’s reference to the series — has the CURENCY spelling rather than the intended CURRENCY. This erroneous obverse die was used with multiple reverse dies.

Heritage observed, “Those in search of an entry-level Continental dollar need look no further,” and observed no evidence of corrosion or major marks save a thin, dull horizontal scratch passing through the E in CURENCY. Many details remain including most of the letters in AMERICAN CONGRESS on the obverse and WE ARE ONE on the reverse.

The historical dollar, graded Poor/Fair Details, Damaged, by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $4,465 at Heritage’s February Long Beach auction. It was the rare instance of an example selling for under five figures.

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