Continental Currency dollar coin

Last updated
Continental Currency dollar coin
United States
Value1 Continental dollar (not specified on coin)
Mass15–19 g
Diameter≈38 mm
Thickness6 mm
Composition Pewter, brass, or silver
Years of minting1776
Obverse
1776 Continental Currency dollar coin obverse.jpg
Design"Mind Your Business", Sun, and sundial, surrounded by "Continental Currency" (misspelled on some varieties) and date
Designer Benjamin Franklin
Design date1776
Reverse
1776 Continental Currency dollar coin reverse.jpg
Design"We Are One", 13 state chain links
Designer Benjamin Franklin
Design date1776

The Continental Currency dollar coin (also known as Continental dollar coin, Fugio dollar, or Franklin dollar) was the first pattern coin struck for the United States. [1] [2] The coins were minted in 1776 and examples were made on pewter, brass, and silver planchets. [3]

Pattern coin Sample coin to demonstrate the design of a coin

A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced to evaluate a proposed coin design. They are often off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. Many coin collectors collect and study pattern coins because of their historical importance. Many of the world's most valuable coins are pattern coins; nearly one quarter of the pieces listed in 100 Greatest US Coins are pattern coins.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Pewter is a malleable metal alloy. It is traditionally composed of 85–99% tin, mixed with approximately 5-10% antimony, 2% copper, bismuth, and sometimes silver. Copper and antimony act as hardeners while lead is more common in the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. Pewter has a low melting point, around 170–230 °C (338–446 °F), depending on the exact mixture of metals. The word pewter is probably a variation of the word spelter, a term for zinc alloys.

Contents

History

The United States started issuing its own banknotes in 1776 after the start of the American Revolutionary War, denominated in Continental Currency. While no legislation authorizing a dollar coin has been discovered, but no resolutions from July 22, 1776 through September 26, 1778 mentioned the one-dollar banknote, suggesting that it was to have been replaced by a coin. [4]

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

Benjamin Franklin designed both sides of the coin. [2] The obverse features the sun shining on a sundial, the Latin motto "Fugio" (I fly), and "Mind your business", a rebus meaning "time flies, so mind your business". [1] The reverse features 13 chain links representing a plea for the Thirteen Colonies to remain united. [1]

Benjamin Franklin American polymath and a Founding Father of the United States

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Rebus allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words

A rebus is a puzzle device which combines the use of illustrated pictures with individual letters to depict words and/or phrases. For example: the word ‘been’ might be depicted by a "rebus" showing an illustrated bumblebee next to a plus sign (+) and the letter "n". It was a favorite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames.

Thirteen Colonies British American colonies which became the United States

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, the Caribbean, and Florida.

Production

Elisha Gallaudet engraved the coin dies, according to numismatist Eric P. Newman. [5] An estimated 6,000 coins were minted, probably in New York. [6]

Eric Pfeiffer Newman was an American numismatist. He wrote several "works about early American coins and paper money considered the standards on their subjects", as well as hundreds of articles. Newman sold his coins over auctions in 2013–2014 for over $70 million and used most of that money for funding the Newman Numismatic Education Society and its Newman Numismatic Portal to "make the literature and images of numismatics, particularly American numismatics, available to everyone on a free and forever basis."

Today, about a hundred dollars survive, struck in pewter. [3] Historians surmise that much of the original mintage was melted due to wartime demand for the alloy. [4] Only a few silver examples are known to exist. This composition was most likely standard for circulation. However, the idea of a silver dollar might have been scrapped, as the United States had no reliable supply of silver during the war. [4] Several brass trial strikings are also known. [7]

Varieties

As with other early United States coinage, the dies for the Continental dollar coin were hand-punched, meaning no two dies were the same. One of the known obverse varieties was accidentally made with "CURRENCY" misspelled "CURENCY". [3]

Another variety, known as the "Ornamented Date", was also made with a misspelled "CURRENCY", this time as "CURRENCEY". The blundered die was corrected by punching a "Y" over the "E" and an ornamental figure was engraved over the original "Y". [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Eastern Caribbean dollar currency of eight of the nine members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The successor to the British West Indies dollar, it has existed since 1965, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 7 July 1976, and the exchange rate is US$1 = EC$2.70.

Mexican peso currency of Mexico

The Mexican peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 10th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded currency from America, and the most traded currency from Latin America.

The quetzal is the currency of Guatemala, named after the national bird of Guatemala, the resplendent quetzal. In ancient Mayan culture, the quetzal bird's tail feathers were used as currency. It is divided into 100 centavos, or lenes in Guatemalan slang. The plural is quetzales.

Kazakhstani tenge currency of Kazakhstan

The tenge is the currency of Kazakhstan. It is divided into 100 tıyn. The ISO-4217 code is KZT.

Namibian dollar currency

The Namibian dollar (symbol: N$; code: NAD; has been the currency of Namibia since 1993. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign N$, or alternatively N$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.

Malaysian ringgit currency of Malaysia

The Malaysian ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. It is divided into 100 sen (cents). The ringgit is issued by the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Dollar coin (United States) One dollar coins issued by the United States

The dollar coin is a United States coin with a face value of one United States dollar. It is the second largest U.S. coin currently minted for circulation in terms of physical size, with a diameter of 1.043 inches (26.5 mm) and a thickness of .079 inches (2 mm), coming second to the half dollar. Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. Dollar coins were first minted in the United States in 1794. The term silver dollar is often used for any large white metal coin issued by the United States with a face value of one dollar, whether or not it contains some of that metal. While true gold dollars are no longer minted, the Sacagawea, Presidential, and American Innovation dollars are sometimes referred to as golden dollars due to their color.

Brunei dollar currency

The Brunei dollar, has been the currency of the Sultanate of Brunei since 1967. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively B$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 sen (Malay) or cents (English). The Brunei dollar is issued by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam.

United States one hundred-dollar bill Highest-value denomination of the U.S currency

The United States one hundred-dollar bill ($100) is a denomination of United States currency. The first United States Note with this value was issued in 1862 and the Federal Reserve Note version was launched in 1914, alongside other denominations. Statesman, inventor, diplomat, and American founding father Benjamin Franklin has been featured on the obverse of the bill since 1914. On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which has been used since 1928. The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed and circulated since July 13, 1969, when the denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the average life of a $100 bill in circulation is 90 months before it is replaced due to wear and tear.

Macanese pataca currency of Macau

The Macau pataca or Macanese pataca is the currency of Macau. It is subdivided into 100 avos, with 10 avos called ho (毫) in Cantonese. The abbreviation MOP$ is commonly used.

Nicaraguan córdoba currency

The córdoba is the currency of Nicaragua. It is divided into 100 centavos.

Indian rupee The official currency of the Republic of India

The Indian rupee is the official currency of India. The rupee is subdivided into 100 paise, though as of 2019, coins of denomination of 1 rupee is the lowest value in use. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The Reserve Bank manages currency in India and derives its role in currency management on the basis of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Egyptian pound currency of Egypt

The Egyptian pound is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 piastres, or ersh, or 1,000 milliemes.

Burmese kyat currency of Myanmar

The kyat is the currency of Myanmar (Burma). It is often abbreviated as "K" or "Ks" (plural), which is placed before or after the numerical value, depending on author preference.

The Jamaican dollar has been the currency of Jamaica since 1969. It is often abbreviated to J$, the J serving to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.

Fugio cent

The Fugio cent, also known as the Franklin cent, is the first official circulation coin of United States. Consisting of 0.36 oz of copper, it was designed by Benjamin Franklin and minted only in 1787. Its design is very similar to a 1776 Continental Currency dollar coin that was produced in pattern pieces as potential Continental currency but was never circulated.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.

Below are the mintage figures for the Washington quarter.

2000 Sacagawea dollar – Washington quarter mule

The 2000 Sacagawea dollar – Washington quarter mule is an error coin featuring the obverse of the Washington quarter on the planchet of a Sacagawea dollar. It is the first known authentic mule coin released into circulation by the United States Mint.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "NMAH | Legendary Coins & Currency: Pewter Continental Dollar, 1776". amhistory.si.edu. Archived from the original on 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  2. 1 2 "Continental Currency - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  3. 1 2 3 "1776 $1 CURENCY, Pewter (Regular Strike) Proposed National Issues - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  4. 1 2 3 "1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Silver, EG FECIT MS63 | Lot #30423". Heritage Auctions. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  5. "Eric P. Newman's silver 1776 Continental Currency dollar sells for $1.41 million". CoinWorld. Archived from the original on 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  6. "The Continental "Dollar" - Introduction". coins.nd.edu. Archived from the original on 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  7. "1776 $1 CURENCY, Brass (Regular Strike) Proposed National Issues - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  8. "1776 $1 Ornament after Date (Regular Strike) Proposed National Issues - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-17.