US Coins

Cato Institute issues Continental Currency replica

As part of a direct-mail fundraising campaign, Cato Institute — "a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace," according to the institute — has distributed replica 1776 Continental Currency dollars in pewter to potential contributors.

Meg Guégan, Cato Institute's director of development communications, said the replicas are also being randomly distributed through its website to those who subscribe to the think tank's free email newsletters.

The designs for the genuine Continental Currency dollars, which are considered patterns, were contributed by Benjamin Franklin. Guégan said the Continental Currency dollar was selected for replication since the pattern's inscriptions reflect the think tank's ideals.

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Guégan said a total of 40,000 of the 33-millimeter pewter replicas were produced by Amagi Metals in Denver, with 34,500 of the replicas sent out accompanying eight-page solicitation letters. Depending on the success of the fundraising effort, more of the pewter replicas will likely be produced, Guégan said.

Because the replicas looked too shiny after striking, the struck pieces were subsequently tumbled with steel media to weather and age their appearance, Guégan said.

Genuine 1776 Continental Currency dollars, which were struck in silver, brass and tin as well as pewter, with some examples bearing the misspelled CURENCY or CURRENCEY, are 40 millimeters in diameter with a twin leaf ornamented edge. Cato Institute's pewter replicas have a plain edge instead of the ornamental edge of the genuine coins.

Also, to conform to the requirements of the Hobby Protection Act, the word COPY is stamped incuse on the lower right hand side of the replica's reverse, within the link representing the Colony of Delaware.

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