Now that research indicates Continental Dollars are not of American origin...

DCWDCW Posts: 3,590 ✭✭✭✭✭

Does the price plummet? Are these cast into the curiosities bin and only collected by people interested in exonumia?
They were produced in Europe after the Revolution as commemorative medals and backdated to 1776. Though there are surely not enough out there to satisfy demand, has this "demand" softened and what will happen to the huge price tags paid the purists?

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Comments

  • SonorandesertratSonorandesertrat Posts: 4,643 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am curious too. How will the TPGs and auction houses respond?

    Member: EAC, NBS, C4, ANA

    RMR: 'Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen?'

    CJ: 'No one!' [Ain't no angels in the coin biz]
  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 7,617 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Their prior examinations were presumably based on the best information available, although it's also likely they did not do any original research to validate their assumptions. It's doubtful present coin owners will have any recourse - after all, the label is just an opinion.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 27,407 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The alleged history of this piece always intrigued me, but I never pulled the trigger on one. There were a couple that were sold off the old Worthy Coin bid wall in Boston in the 1980s. Every one of them turned out to be a copy made from a later vintage. For that reason, I was leery about getting involved with them before certification became common.

    After certification separated the wheat from the chaff, I looked at them at the shows, but seemed like the dealers who had them thought I was bumpkin. They would quote me numbers that were way ahead of the market. I remember one guy had two of them, and he wanted over $175,000 for each of them.

    Now we have this information, and I’m glad I never pulled the trigger. This piece is now something less than the Libertas America medal, which is far more attractive and has Benjamin Franklin in its corner. I do have one of those in bronze which I purchased many years ago.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 21,393 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's an interesting question. On the one hand, it's still a really cool thing and I doubt that many people will cross it off their want lists. On the other hand, everyone's likely to value the coins at lower prices than before, just because the coins are what they are.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 21,393 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sonorandesertrat said:
    I am curious too. How will the TPGs and auction houses respond?

    Authenticating a Continental Dollar is not a guaranty that it was struck by anyone in particular or in any particular place. Especially because, in this case, nobody has ever claimed to know the precise history of the coins.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 27,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 16, 2018 11:13AM

    @MrEureka said:

    @Sonorandesertrat said:
    I am curious too. How will the TPGs and auction houses respond?

    Authenticating a Continental Dollar is not a guaranty that it was struck by anyone in particular or in any particular place. Especially because, in this case, nobody has ever claimed to know the precise history of the coins.

    It doesn't matter very much because if you pay big bucks for one that doesn't get certified. You are up the river without a paddle.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As one of many an Authenticator who has certified these in the past, I welcome the new research.
    One big question: why so many different dies? I know one shows nice internal cuds. Did the dies keep failing, or was there a market for varieties?

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,053 ✭✭✭✭

    The recently published info is compelling but doesn't answer the question of exactly who did it and where. To that extent there is still somewhat of a cloud over this issue. The Guide Book of U.S. Coins won't delist them, and the services won't quit slabbing them.

    Prices over the next few months will be interesting to watch. I for one don't think they will fall much.

  • giorgio11giorgio11 Posts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In one way I am glad that dear old Eric P. Newman did not live to see this happen -- he had so many of them, does anyone remember how many? -- but the numismatic researcher in me tells me that on a higher level, he would welcome any new information forthcoming about them.

    He was all about the advancement of numismatic knowledge rather than his own ego.

    Kind regards,

    George

    VDBCoins.com Our Registry Sets Many successful BSTs; pls ask.
  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭

    I dont see any need for the TPG's or Auction houses to do anything, other than update Coinfacts and the little historical blurb that goes along with the auction writeup.

    If you were going to "create" a coin for todays colonial and early american coin collectors, it would be hard to come up with one that is as appealing as the Continental Dollar in hand. I think it will remain popular, but perhaps at a lower price point.

  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it will be interesting to see what happens.

    The Newman narrative's suggestion that they were produced by Continental Congress presented the pieces as an essential part of U.S. history, and they were valued accordingly. In light of the recently published contemporary accounts of the pieces, it's now virtually impossible to accept Newman's claims at face value, but it's also impossible to dismiss decades of collector interest.

    As to the responsibility of the grading services, Andy's right. The services have never claimed to know the precise history of the coins.

    As far as the number of varieties is concerned, based upon die states, you have the obverse "CURENCY" die (Newman 1) paired with the first three die states of a reverse die (Newman called the die A, B, and C, based upon die state), that die was then paired with the "CURRENCY" obverse (Newman 2). The other reverse (Newman D) appears to have been first paired with the "CURRENCEY" obverse (Newman 4), then paired with the ornamented date obverse (Newman 5, which is Newman 4, with the corrected spelling). This reverse was then lapped (probably because of the circular die crack visible on all of these coins), and paired with the "EG FECIT/CURRENCY" obverse (Newman 3).

    If you look at die states, it's a fair assumption that spelling problems in "CURRENCY" provided the impetus for the large number of varieties. This spelling issue (and the NEW YORKE/PENNSILV errors on the reverse dies) suggest a non-english speaking engraver to me, and, as it turns out, the is an EG in Europe at the right time, whose engraving style has some similarities with the style employed on the Continental "Dollar".

    The proving ground for a lot of the research we are discussing started here:

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/946694/continental-dollar-struck-in-europe-nn-article

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @giorgio11 said:
    In one way I am glad that dear old Eric P. Newman did not live to see this happen -- he had so many of them, does anyone remember how many? -- but the numismatic researcher in me tells me that on a higher level, he would welcome any new information forthcoming about them.

    He was all about the advancement of numismatic knowledge rather than his own ego.

    Kind regards,

    George

    Agreed. Eric was a scholar and an honorable man.

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:

    @giorgio11 said:
    In one way I am glad that dear old Eric P. Newman did not live to see this happen -- he had so many of them, does anyone remember how many? -- but the numismatic researcher in me tells me that on a higher level, he would welcome any new information forthcoming about them.

    He was all about the advancement of numismatic knowledge rather than his own ego.

    Kind regards,

    George

    Agreed. Eric was a scholar and an honorable man.

    Eric also knew some of the published information contained in the articles and chose not to acknowledge it over the last 60+ years.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I fully accept that they were first struck circa 1783. Any possibility that the pieces were sold over a number of years, with new dies being created as the old ones failed?

    I am mindful of the 1783 Washington pieces struck in London decades later. However, those pieces tended to be saved by collectors in pristine condition. Though many high grade Continental Dollars exist, I don't think they run as nice as the Washingtonia.

    Now, if we can just get some person to come forward and say "My grandfather 'liberated' these funny-looking dies from an attic in Dusseldorf in 1945. What are they?"

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 10,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting, thanks for your post !!! :)

    Timbuk3
  • ColonialcoinColonialcoin Posts: 550 ✭✭✭✭

    I am surely not going to pull the trigger on a five figure Continental Dollar that is not a domestic issue.

    Another questionable item is the undated New Yorke token. I have not seen documentation as far as where it was struck In addition to exactly when it was struck. IMHO, to pay the kind of money that the New Yorke token goes for borders on insanity. I personally doubt that they were struck here. Most of the silver coins that were in circulation here around 1670 were Massachusetts silver, Latin American cobs, and Dutch Lion Dollars. I would think a silver token would be struck to honor the governor of New York, not cheap copper. It sure looks like the tokens that were made in England and Ireland at that time.

  • ilikemonstersilikemonsters Posts: 568 ✭✭✭✭

    Two years ago, I considered buying my first Continental Dollar. I found the history behind the "Medal" so cool. Now that this research has been shared with the numismatic community, I am so glad that I didn't pay $70,000ish on a European medal. I am glad that someone had the guts to share this research with us, when Newman didn't. My guess is he thought the prices would fall on his Continental Dollars. I hope that prices do fall. There will always be decades of collector interest to back up this coin, I just don't seeing this being a $100,000 "medal" now that this research has come to light.

  • GluggoGluggo Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 16, 2018 3:57PM

    Anybody got a picture of one? Ohhh thank you!, I bought one of those but it was known counterfeit and sold as such.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 20,864 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BST deals: Dozens of buys/sells. Will provide a list upon request.
    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), [email protected]
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Let he who is without sin amongst us, cast the first coin!

    My point here is that we all have feet of clay, and that even extends to the greats.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just had a thought looking at that fine picture....I wonder why the engraver did not use European 7's on the die?

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 7,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many post-colonial issues (the category which, based on the current research, these would seem to fall into) were struck in Birmingham, London, Ireland, Wales, etc.

    Many of the more iconic and/or scarce pieces command 5-figure prices.

    If it's accepted that the Continental Currency pieces were struck in Europe as patterns or denominated medals of some kind, then I'd still see them as iconic and important early post-colonial pieces--if nothing else for their size and composition (the silver ones). So it seems that they would still be high-end items. Just maybe not what they once were. But it's not like they're worthless now.

    However, my copy of the spiral bound 2018 Red Book lists them as the first item in the "Federal Issues--Contract Issues and Patterns" section. I'll leave it to the experts to decide if maybe they'd be more comfortable residing in the previous "Post-Colonial Issues" section.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    Just had a thought looking at that fine picture....I wonder why the engraver did not use European 7's on the die?

    The date is a close approximation of the style of "1776" found on the paper money.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    I fully accept that they were first struck circa 1783. Any possibility that the pieces were sold over a number of years, with new dies being created as the old ones failed?

    I am mindful of the 1783 Washington pieces struck in London decades later. However, those pieces tended to be saved by collectors in pristine condition. Though many high grade Continental Dollars exist, I don't think they run as nice as the Washingtonia.

    We know that the EG FECIT variety was around prior to 1790, as it appears in the Sarah Sophia Banks notebooks that were revised then. It would be interesting to see whether the Newman-1 and Newman-2 obverses were known that early - I believe that SSB had more than one piece, although I do not know the varieties.

    The earliest example that I was able to actually place in North America was in 1835: it had been bought from Matthew Young in London in the 1830s, who evidently had a stash of them, so I can't discount the theory that they may have been sold over many years. It's worth noting that Young restruck the American Plantations Tokens and marketed them in the first half of the 19th century.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did not know that about Young.

    Has anybody ever done metallurgical analyses on the pewter pieces to see if there are any distinctive batches of planchets which might imply multiple strikings?

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭

    @ilikemonsters said:
    Two years ago, I considered buying my first Continental Dollar. I found the history behind the "Medal" so cool. Now that this research has been shared with the numismatic community, I am so glad that I didn't pay $70,000ish on a European medal. I am glad that someone had the guts to share this research with us, when Newman didn't. My guess is he thought the prices would fall on his Continental Dollars. I hope that prices do fall. There will always be decades of collector interest to back up this coin, I just don't seeing this being a $100,000 "medal" now that this research has come to light.

    I think you have something here. Perhaps the best comparable is the Libertas Americana. The Continental Dollar does not have the Ben Franklin Connection, and I dont know how the pops stack up - I would guess that the Continental Dollar is a bit rarer.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 36,251 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:

    How can these be called medals when the design clearly shows "CURENCY"? It would make more sense to call these privately issued coins or patterns.

  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    I did not know that about Young.

    Has anybody ever done metallurgical analyses on the pewter pieces to see if there are any distinctive batches of planchets which might imply multiple strikings?

    I've looked at a variety of the metallurgical tests that have been published, and the only conclusion that I could draw were that the Continental Dollars and Betts-614s seem to have been made of type metal - something a little over 90% tin, 8+% lead, and traces of antimony. This was literally the metal used as type in printing presses, and was cheap and readily available. Worn examples tend to test higher for lead, but I think this is to be expected.

    The brass examples that I've seen tests for are consistent with Bath Metal, with one exception (although that piece was cleaned, which can skew the results). It's worth noting that all of the Brass examples are Newman 1-A and 1-B (the A and B reverses being early die states of reverse C, which is usually encountered with the CURENCY and later the CURRENCY obverses).

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @AUandAG said:

    How can these be called medals when the design clearly shows "CURENCY"? It would make more sense to call these privately issued coins or patterns.

    No, it would not. Please read the articles referenced.

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,053 ✭✭✭✭

    @ilikemonsters said:
    I am glad that someone had the guts to share this research with us, when Newman didn't. My guess is he thought the prices would fall on his Continental Dollars.

    Newman was far more interested in getting at the numismatic truth than how much something was worth. If you look at his numismatic career, the vast majority of it was dedicated to research - not buying and selling. And there was no point to research and writing unless you were getting at the true core of it.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love a good mystery. This remains high on my want list. Albeit maybe a notch or two down now

    M

    Walker Proof Digital Album





    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 36,251 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @AUandAG said:

    How can these be called medals when the design clearly shows "CURENCY"? It would make more sense to call these privately issued coins or patterns.

    No, it would not. Please read the articles referenced.

    I did read the articles referenced. My post was directed at a couple of posters who referred to these coins as medals.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 36,251 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Regulated said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @CaptHenway said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @AUandAG said:

    How can these be called medals when the design clearly shows "CURENCY"? It would make more sense to call these privately issued coins or patterns.

    No, it would not. Please read the articles referenced.

    I did read the articles referenced. My post was directed at a couple of posters who referred to these coins as medals.

    The presence of the word "CURENCY" or "CURRENCY" doesn't necessarily make the object a coin, and from the perspective of anyone who hasn't used fiat money for a lifetime, a non-precious metal item such as the Continental Dollar would be better described as a medal or token than as a coin.

    Agree with calling them tokens especially considering they are about the size of a British crown or Spanish milled dollar. I've never seen a medal with "CURRENCCY" or a denomination.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 17, 2018 7:29AM
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While we're at it:


    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would argue that the title of this thread be changed from Continental Dollars to Continental "Dollars."

    "Continental Currency" medals might be better.

    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Or Continental So-Called Dollar...

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just remember that Newman and Bressett wrote "The Fantastic 1804 Dollar" to denounce it as a "fantasy," (hence the word "Fantastic,") and yet the book launched the coin into the Stratosphere.

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,411 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 17, 2018 9:33AM

    Here's a piece issued by a U.S. government agency that has a denomination that is not a coin:

    http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/UserImages/Alaska $10 Bingle rev.jpg

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 36,251 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @EagleEye said:
    I would argue that the title of this thread be changed from Continental Dollars to Continental "Dollars."

    "Continental Currency" medals might be better.

    "Continental Currency" tokens would be better yet.

  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mustangmanbob said:
    So if some of these started coming in from China, would they need to be stamped Copy, as the "originals" are not United States Coins, therefore, it would seem the Chinese stuff would fall under English Law, as the So Called Dollars are English.

    My 1 cent, as it is not worth 2 cents, these will always command a "high" price, because too many people with $$ paid a lot for them, and are too invested in them, to admit these are just some novelty toy, or fake, like the 1913 Nickle or others like it.

    Crow is not on the menu at that level of $$.

    You're right. These are a classic of US numismatics.

    Early on, Montroville Dickeson, author of the “The American Numismatic Manual” (the first exhaustive work published on US Coins in 1859) wrote, "By whomever designed, this coin or medal unburdened the patriotic genius of some one, and it was eminently worthy of the glorious period whose date it bears."

    Collectors are going to continue to love them - as a kid, the Continental Dollar was the one coin in The Red Book that I was desperate to own: it's design and the date fired my imagination.

    The current research isn't about money, it's about knowing the truth, so that we can understand their place in history.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 17, 2018 10:04AM

    @PerryHall said:

    @EagleEye said:
    I would argue that the title of this thread be changed from Continental Dollars to Continental "Dollars."

    "Continental Currency" medals might be better.

    "Continental Currency" tokens would be better yet.

    Calling them tokens assumes that they were intended to be used as a money substitute, and most of the evidence now suggests that they were probably made to be sold to collectors, much like the Betts-614 medal.

    One of the reasons that I became interested in the Continental Dollar's history was the realization that the issue is found in silver, brass/bronze, and type metal. The distribution of these pieces - a handful of silver, 15 or so brass, and hundreds of type metal - mimics some European medals of the era (look at Betts Medals), but is completely unknown among US pre-Federal coinage. Once the Sarah Sophia Banks information came to light, Robert Morris's identification of the 1783 Nova as the first coin struck by the US seemed very significant...

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
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