Continental Dollar Struck in Europe - NN Article...

RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭
I'm sure that most of you saw the very interesting NN article on the Continental Dollar perhaps being struck in Europe?

This is perhaps my favorite coin. Unfortunately, I'm always just one Lottery win away from owning one.

I am very interested in what the Colonial Experts think of this article/possibility.

I think that it's very cool to read about contemporary news clippings that Ms. Banks had re: this coin.

I'd love to see more of her collection and the related, contemporary information which she had on her coins.
Land of the Free because of the Brave!
«1345

Comments

  • goldengolden Posts: 5,526 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very interesting!
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'd love to hear more about this. The Continental Dollar is a cornerstone of American numismatics!
  • jmcu12jmcu12 Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭
    One word - wow!

    This too is my favorite coin. I had one and sold it and it is the single biggest coin-regret that I have. I will own another before I go!
    Awarded latest "YOU SUCK!": June 11, 2014
  • RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I'd love to hear more about this. The Continental Dollar is a cornerstone of American numismatics! >>



    Ms Banks also said that it was "never current.". I'm very interested in the ecperts' thoughts on this as well.

    Her collection with its contemporary references is such a gem
    Land of the Free because of the Brave!
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 17,467 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There was a discussion of the Continental Dollar on this forum some years back. I have always doubted that the pieces were struck in 1776 and find it easy to believe that they were, in fact, struck in Europe at some time after that date.

    Will the truth ever be known? Since big bucks are involved in the discussion of these pieces you can expect strong opinions to abound.
    All glory is fleeting.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Does anybody have a pdf of the Numismatic Chronicle article?
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • cmerlo1cmerlo1 Posts: 6,924 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I read that article, also. Very interesting. Hoping CRO and/or Dave W will weigh in...
    You Suck! Awarded 6/2008- 1901-O Micro O Morgan, 8/2008- 1878 VAM-123 Morgan, 7/2013- 1983 No-S Proof Set
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since it was submitted by Denga, it carries a lot of weight. It opens up a whole new avenue of research. More coins and medals to punch-link.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 9,915 ✭✭✭
    Excerpts from the University of Notre Dame website -

    Unfortunately little is known about the important and captivating coin called the Continental Dollar. The denomination of the coin is unknown, but Newman has surmised the value to be a dollar. The first four emissions of Continental paper currency from May 10, 1775, through May 6, 1776, included a dollar bill, but the one dollar denomination was missing from the next six emissions and does not reappear until the last regular emission of Continental paper currency from January 14, 1779. It is thought that this Continental coin was meant to replace the paper dollar in these emissions. Also, the coin was made to be about the same size as the Spanish milled dollar and, like the Spanish coin, had an edge design. However who authorized or minted the coins is unknown.

    Interestingly, there are no records of this coin in the actions of the Continental Congress, although other coinage concerns were recorded. On April 19, 1776 the Congress appointed a committee to determine the value of several foreign coins in relation to the Spanish dollar and on February 20, 1777 a congressional treasury committee recommended a mint be established, but nothing further was done on this matter. To date there is no evidence the Continental Currency coins were authorized or issued by the Continental Congress. Indeed, Robert Morris, the Superintendant of Finance during the Confederation period, appears not to have known of the Continental Dollars as he called his 1783 Nova Constellation patterns the first that were, "struck as an American Coin." (Morris, Diary for April 2, 1783).

    The location of the mint is unknown but is thought to have been New York City. Articles referring to a Continental copper coin are found in the New York Journal of June 27, 1776, and the New York Gazette of July 1, 1776. In addition, the New York State paper currency emission of August 13, 1776, included four fractional notes as well as $2, $3, $5 and $10 bills, but like the Continental Congress emissions, did not include the $1 note. Hodder proposes two groups of dies made by different die sinkers and suggests that these two groups of coins may not have been minted in the same location. Group one includes Newman obverse dies 1 and 2 with a single reverse found in three different states listed by Newman as reverses A, B and C. Group two consists of two obverse dies, Newman 3 and 4 (with Newman obverse 5 being a recut of die 4) combined with one reverse die known as Newman D.

    References
    On this coin see: Breen, 110-112; Hodder, Michael. "The Continental Currency Coinage of 1776," pp. 7-18 in The American Numismatic Association Centennial Anthology, Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena, 1991, pp. 7-18; and Newman, Eric. "The 1776 Continental Currency Coinage," The Coin Collector's Journal, July-August (1952) 1-9.
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've always found Morris's diary entry to be telling where the so-called Continental Dollars are concerned - if they had ANYTHING to do with Continental Congress, he certainly would have known all about them.



    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Excerpts from the University of Notre Dame website -

    Unfortunately little is known about the important and captivating coin called the Continental Dollar. The denomination of the coin is unknown, but Newman has surmised the value to be a dollar. The first four emissions of Continental paper currency from May 10, 1775, through May 6, 1776, included a dollar bill, but the one dollar denomination was missing from the next six emissions and does not reappear until the last regular emission of Continental paper currency from January 14, 1779. It is thought that this Continental coin was meant to replace the paper dollar in these emissions. Also, the coin was made to be about the same size as the Spanish milled dollar and, like the Spanish coin, had an edge design. However who authorized or minted the coins is unknown.

    Interestingly, there are no records of this coin in the actions of the Continental Congress, although other coinage concerns were recorded. On April 19, 1776 the Congress appointed a committee to determine the value of several foreign coins in relation to the Spanish dollar and on February 20, 1777 a congressional treasury committee recommended a mint be established, but nothing further was done on this matter. To date there is no evidence the Continental Currency coins were authorized or issued by the Continental Congress. Indeed, Robert Morris, the Superintendant of Finance during the Confederation period, appears not to have known of the Continental Dollars as he called his 1783 Nova Constellation patterns the first that were, "struck as an American Coin." (Morris, Diary for April 2, 1783).

    The location of the mint is unknown but is thought to have been New York City. Articles referring to a Continental copper coin are found in the New York Journal of June 27, 1776, and the New York Gazette of July 1, 1776. In addition, the New York State paper currency emission of August 13, 1776, included four fractional notes as well as $2, $3, $5 and $10 bills, but like the Continental Congress emissions, did not include the $1 note. Hodder proposes two groups of dies made by different die sinkers and suggests that these two groups of coins may not have been minted in the same location. Group one includes Newman obverse dies 1 and 2 with a single reverse found in three different states listed by Newman as reverses A, B and C. Group two consists of two obverse dies, Newman 3 and 4 (with Newman obverse 5 being a recut of die 4) combined with one reverse die known as Newman D.

    References
    On this coin see: Breen, 110-112; Hodder, Michael. "The Continental Currency Coinage of 1776," pp. 7-18 in The American Numismatic Association Centennial Anthology, Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena, 1991, pp. 7-18; and Newman, Eric. "The 1776 Continental Currency Coinage," The Coin Collector's Journal, July-August (1952) 1-9. >>



    Good to have references from the New York Journal and New York Gazette back in 1776 for these coins.
  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 9,915 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Good to have references from the New York Journal and New York Gazette back in 1776 for these coins. >>


    Those references referred to a Continental copper coin, which may or may not have had any connection to Continental Dollars.

    So what we really have is a coin that may or may not have been minted in America; may or may not have been minted in 1776 or sometime in the late 18th century; is of unknown origin, purpose, and denomination; was designed by, or the design was at least strongly influenced by Benjamin Franklin; and which has captivated colonial collectors for decades, likely because of its inclusion in the Red Book.

    Hmmm....
  • AnalystAnalyst Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭

    291Fith: << I have always doubted that the pieces were struck in 1776 and find it easy to believe that they were, in fact, struck in Europe at some time after that date. >>

    I researched Continental Dollars, especially when I was analyzing various pre-1793 patterns in the Eric Newman Collection. I thought that I demonstrated with logic and historical evidence that it is very unlikely that they were made during or around 1776. I then directed questions to R. W. Julian and made him aware of my investigation into the matter. Please read what I wrote last year in regard to this topic:

    The Fabulous Eric Newman Collection, Part 12: Pre-1793 Patterns for U.S. coins
    "In order to understand the scarce coins that you own or see, you must learn about coins that you cannot afford." -Me
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Good to have references from the New York Journal and New York Gazette back in 1776 for these coins. >>


    Those references referred to a Continental copper coin, which may or may not have had any connection to Continental Dollars.

    So what we really have is a coin that may or may not have been minted in America; may or may not have been minted in 1776 or sometime in the late 18th century; is of unknown origin, purpose, and denomination; was designed by, or the design was at least strongly influenced by Benjamin Franklin; and which has captivated colonial collectors for decades, likely because of its inclusion in the Red Book.

    Hmmm.... >>



    Interesting. I wonder what Continental copper coin was being discussed.

    Here's a link to The Official Red Book online version which includes the Continental Dollar, Stella, and other coins of stature. Interesting how much influence a book can have.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>291Fith: << I have always doubted that the pieces were struck in 1776 and find it easy to believe that they were, in fact, struck in Europe at some time after that date. >>

    I researched Continental Dollars, especially when I was analyzing various pre-1793 patterns in the Eric Newman Collection. I thought that I demonstrated with logic and historical evidence that it is very unlikely that they were made during or around 1776. I then directed questions to R. W. Julian and made him aware of my investigation into the matter. Please read what I wrote last year in regard to this topic:

    The Fabulous Eric Newman Collection, Part 12: Pre-1793 Patterns for U.S. coins >>



    Thanks for the link to the article. Is the name of the professor mentioned in the following line known? It is interesting if the first verified reference to the coin occurred in England.



    << <i>It is clear that a professor in England saw one pewter “Continental Currency” piece before 1786, probably before 1785. >>

  • RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>

    << <i>Good to have references from the New York Journal and New York Gazette back in 1776 for these coins. >>


    Those references referred to a Continental copper coin, which may or may not have had any connection to Continental Dollars.

    So what we really have is a coin that may or may not have been minted in America; may or may not have been minted in 1776 or sometime in the late 18th century; is of unknown origin, purpose, and denomination; was designed by, or the design was at least strongly influenced by Benjamin Franklin; and which has captivated colonial collectors for decades, likely because of its inclusion in the Red Book.

    Hmmm.... >>



    Interesting. I wonder what Continental copper coin was being discussed.

    Here's a link to The Official Red Book online version which includes the Continental Dollar, Stella, and other coins of stature. Interesting how much influence a book can have. >>



    I think that the Red Book link is broken. Thanks!
    Land of the Free because of the Brave!
  • RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭
    Thanks very much for the excellent posts!! I very much enjoyed reading them as well as the literature which was linked to.

    The depth and breadth of knowledge on this forum is just tremendous. Thanks very much to all those who generously share it.
    Land of the Free because of the Brave!
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I think that the Red Book link is broken. Thanks! >>



    Ah, that's a https link. I've fixed it above now.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just read the Numismatic Chronicle article. Fascinating read.

    I still don't know what to make of it all. It is strong circumstantial evidence that the various Continental Dollars were made as novelties in Great Britain to sell in America, not unlike other novelty tokens made in the late 18th Century and catalogued under the broad umbrella of "Conder Tokens."

    Against this theory is the observation that many novelty Conders were sold directly to collectors who kept them in pristine collection, as they are seen today, while the great majority of the Continental Dollars in collections today show apparent circulation. Some are downright dreadful.

    It is possible that they became popular in their day as pocket pieces, perhaps as recognition pieces by former Continental soldiers, or at least among the former officers who could afford to spend sixpence on a pocket piece. This is of course sheer speculation on my part.

    Another unanswered question is why so many die varieties? I can see a souvenir medal manufacturer making one pair of dies on speculation for sale in the Americas, but why four obverses and four reverses? If they were making dies varieties for collectors, as happened in the Conder field, why were the coins not saved in new condition by collectors?

    And why the heck did they correct the spelling of obverse 4 to create obverse variety 5? Another variety for collectors? If so, where are the specimens?

    Time for another cup of coffee.

    TD
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 17,467 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Just read the Numismatic Chronicle article. Fascinating read.

    I still don't know what to make of it all. It is strong circumstantial evidence that the various Continental Dollars were made as novelties in Great Britain to sell in America, not unlike other novelty tokens made in the late 18th Century and catalogued under the broad umbrella of "Conder Tokens."

    Against this theory is the observation that many novelty Conders were sold directly to collectors who kept them in pristine collection, as they are seen today, while the great majority of the Continental Dollars in collections today show apparent circulation. Some are downright dreadful.

    It is possible that they became popular in their day as pocket pieces, perhaps as recognition pieces by former Continental soldiers, or at least among the former officers who could afford to spend sixpence on a pocket piece. This is of course sheer speculation on my part.

    Another unanswered question is why so many die varieties? I can see a souvenir medal manufacturer making one pair of dies on speculation for sale in the Americas, but why four obverses and four reverses? If they were making dies varieties for collectors, as happened in the Conder field, why were the coins not saved in new condition by collectors?

    And why the heck did they correct the spelling of obverse 4 to create obverse variety 5? Another variety for collectors? If so, where are the specimens?

    Time for another cup of coffee.

    TD >>



    Is it possible that the "varieties" are actually "made for collector" pieces that were struck long after the initial pieces were made? Will we ever know?
    All glory is fleeting.
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Against this theory is the observation that many novelty Conders were sold directly to collectors who kept them in pristine collection, as they are seen today, while the great majority of the Continental Dollars in collections today show apparent circulation. Some are downright dreadful.

    It is possible that they became popular in their day as pocket pieces, perhaps as recognition pieces by former Continental soldiers, or at least among the former officers who could afford to spend sixpence on a pocket piece. This is of course sheer speculation on my part. >>



    Over 90 of the 251 Continental Dollars graded by PCGS are in Mint State - compared to other circulating coins of the era, the Continental Dollar survived admirably.

    I'd guess that somewhere around half of the common surviving Conders are circulated, even after taking into account the pristine examples. Factor in the way that white metal wears compared to copper, and the dreadful coins make sense.
    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Against this theory is the observation that many novelty Conders were sold directly to collectors who kept them in pristine collection, as they are seen today, while the great majority of the Continental Dollars in collections today show apparent circulation. Some are downright dreadful.

    It is possible that they became popular in their day as pocket pieces, perhaps as recognition pieces by former Continental soldiers, or at least among the former officers who could afford to spend sixpence on a pocket piece. This is of course sheer speculation on my part. >>



    Over 90 of the 251 Continental Dollars graded by PCGS are in Mint State - compared to other circulating coins of the era, the Continental Dollar survived admirably.

    I'd guess that somewhere around half of the common surviving Conders are circulated, even after taking into account the pristine examples. Factor in the way that white metal wears compared to copper, and the dreadful coins make sense. >>



    Well, most Conders (by count) were made for circulation, which they did, but what percentage of the rare die pairs/mulings specifically made for collectors appear in circulated condition?

    As to those Mint State Continental Dollars, do they all show a lack of wear? I understand that that is often not a criterion for coins dated before 1800.

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


    << <i>Well, most Conders (by count) were made for circulation, which they did, but what percentage of the rare die pairs/mulings specifically made for collectors appear in circulated condition?

    As to those Mint State Continental Dollars, do they all show a lack of wear? I understand that that is often not a criterion for coins dated before 1800. >>



    I'm not sure I would compare the Continental Dollars to the rarest Conders struck for collectors (some of which had mintages of 10 or 20 pieces) - I also wonder whether these would have been put back by the same sort of collector.

    As far as TPG grading standards are concerned - Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.

    Assuming that grading standards are consistent at PCGS, it's an interesting exercise to compare the populations of post-1776 States coinage with C$1s. To wit:

    Continental Dollars - 92 of 251 PCGS grading events are mint state - 36.65%

    Connecticut Coppers - 22 of 1,534 grading events are mint state - 01.43%

    Brasher Doubloons/Regulated Gold - 0 of 14 grading events are mint state - 0.00%

    New York Coppers - 2 of 41 grading events are mint state - 04.87%

    New Jersey Coppers - 29 of 1,549 grading events are mint state - 01.87%

    Vermont Coppers - 5 of 781 grading events are mint state - 00.64%

    You can point out that this sort of logic falls apart with the Fugio Cents, but if you removed the Bank of NY hoard coins, it probably wouldn't.

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • keyman64keyman64 Posts: 13,487 ✭✭✭✭
    Interesting thread.
    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 8,038 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fascinating but depressing. Their history may be richer for it, but C$1 being "less American" than I thought makes them significantly less interesting to me.

    ...and the scale of perception tips away from Continental $1s, and more toward Fugios, Higleys, or even NE pieces.
    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
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It seems to me that if one traces the history of the revolution, the one date you would not have on a coin is 1776, especially if it is supposedly struck in New York City. It was under occupation most of the year. Aside from the desperate act of declaring independence, there is really nothing that would single out 1776 as a year that coinage would have been undertaken. The colonies were in a severe depression with war and any thought of coinage would have been laughable. They printed notes, sure. but there was no pressing need to make a silver coinage or even a pewter token coinage that year. As a later issue than the date on the coin, even if only a few years, so many open questions get answers. Not all the answers, but some.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Fascinating but depressing. Their history may be richer for it, but C$1 being "less American" than I thought makes them significantly less interesting to me.

    ...and the scale of perception tips away from Continental $1s, and more toward Fugios, Higleys, or even NE pieces. >>



    Indeed. IF, and this remains a big IF, it is ever proven that the Continental dollars are not a cherished heirloom of the Revolutionary War but are rather a backdated British fantasy akin to the myriad King Edward VIII fantasy Crowns, the demand for them will plummet.
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It seems to me like the Continental Dollar was included as one of the big three U.S. "firsts" (C$1, Fugio, 1792 H10C) because it was large, attractive and relatively available. Old-time coin dealers sold stories, not well-researched history.
    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Indeed. IF, and this remains a big IF, it is ever proven that the Continental dollars are not a cherished heirloom of the Revolutionary War but are rather a backdated British fantasy akin to the myriad King Edward VIII fantasy Crowns, the demand for them will plummet. >>



    Is seems like very little is known about these coins either way. It's a very interesting situation for such a popular coin. Hopefully some reliable information will be discovered.
  • DeliaBugDeliaBug Posts: 885
    Here is some fuel for this fire. This is from Allgemeines Historisches Taschenbuch, published in Germany. In 1784.

    image
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Here is some fuel for this fire. This is from Allgemeines Historisches Taschenbuch, published in Germany. In 1784. >>



    Very very interesting. Is there any text to go along with the images? Has the version in the book ever been struck?

    When was the Libertas Americana medal struck? PCGS Coin Facts seems to say 1781, but the same page quotes Franklin saying he was still having the idea of the medal in March 1782 and Wikipedia says 1783.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, a fascinating illustration, obviously copied from a Reverse C with the transposed New Hampshire and Massachusetts unlike the currency, but where did they get the piece to copy from?

    Edited to add: It is fascinating that the German illustrator felt the need to translate English into German on the Continental Dollar drawing, but not Latin into German on the Libertas drawing. Obviously anybody learned enough to appreciate his book spoke (or at least read) Latin at the time!

    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mail-order from Great Britain - sixpence.
    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 17,467 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It looks more and more like they are foreign medals and not coins at all.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • keetskeets Posts: 21,179 ✭✭✭✭✭
    two points come to mind:
    --- I am in disbelief that Walter Breen has been used as a reference and no one has expressed outrage.
    --- apparently these aren't what they have been thought to be. maybe it is the original So-Called Dollar.

    --- George Carlin RIP, he'd have a lot of fresh material if he was alive today!!
  • NapNap Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭
    According to a small article in the 1859 (British) Numismatic Chronicle, Matthew Stickney owned a 1776 Continental Dollar which was struck in white metal and obtained in England in 1853 by H.G. Somerby.
  • Zoins:

    << <i>Very very interesting. Is there any text to go along with the images? Has the version in the book ever been struck? >>



    TD:

    << <i>Edited to add: It is fascinating that the German illustrator felt the need to translate English into German on the Continental Dollar drawing, but not Latin into German on the Libertas drawing. Obviously anybody learned enough to appreciate his book spoke (or at least read) Latin at the time! >>



    Some context for that - the version in the woodcut does not exist as in the text it states 'the text is registered for the sake of the German reader', or something like that - it is old German. Anyway, in the same paragraph it states the legend in English as: we are one - American Congrefs - Continental Currency - fugio - mind your bufinefs

    Some more information:

    Lester Olsen wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin and referenced some letters back and forth about the book I referenced above. I did some digging and found that Spener (director for Haude & Spener - publishers of the above book) wrote to Benjamin Franklin on May 26, 1783 asking for illustrations of medals. (See it here: http://franklinpapers.org) Apparently, Franklin had access to them because illustrations of the Libertas and Continental medals were sent over to be used.
  • rajaraja Posts: 63
    very interesting discussions.
    happy to read from so many experts in one thread. hope more will chip in.
    educational and appreciate it.
    raja
    Colonials and Post-Colonials
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Lester Olsen wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin and referenced some letters back and forth about the book I referenced above. I did some digging and found that Spener (director for Haude & Spener - publishers of the above book) wrote to Benjamin Franklin on May 26, 1783 asking for illustrations of medals. (See it here: http://franklinpapers.org) Apparently, Franklin had access to them because illustrations of the Libertas and Continental medals were sent over to be used. >>



    It is interesting to note that Franklin considered it a medal.
    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Lester Olsen wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin and referenced some letters back and forth about the book I referenced above. I did some digging and found that Spener (director for Haude & Spener - publishers of the above book) wrote to Benjamin Franklin on May 26, 1783 asking for illustrations of medals. (See it here: http://franklinpapers.org) Apparently, Franklin had access to them because illustrations of the Libertas and Continental medals were sent over to be used. >>



    It is interesting to note that Franklin considered it a medal. >>



    Very interesting!
    (In my best Arte Johnson voice)
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • DeliaBugDeliaBug Posts: 885


    << <i>

    << <i>Lester Olsen wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin and referenced some letters back and forth about the book I referenced above. I did some digging and found that Spener (director for Haude & Spener - publishers of the above book) wrote to Benjamin Franklin on May 26, 1783 asking for illustrations of medals. (See it here: http://franklinpapers.org) Apparently, Franklin had access to them because illustrations of the Libertas and Continental medals were sent over to be used. >>



    It is interesting to note that Franklin considered it a medal. >>



    Just to be clear - a request was made for designs of "medailles frapées" or medals struck. I have no record of a response from Franklin and can only assume it was answered due to the fact that the book was produced with the requested images.

  • RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭
    Thanks very much to the experts who have contributed!

    It's been great fun and a wonderful learning experience reading this thread thus far.

    While I am very far from a Colonial expert, it seems to me that the prices realized for Cont. Dollars over the past twenty or so years have far outpaced most other Colonial issues. If this is the case, why is this? The coin is nearly 250 years old. Why in the past 20 or so years has it increased in value so much, esp. relative to other Colonial issues?

    I too wonder, as others have stated, whether the allure, demand and thus value will plummet if the weight of evidence points further towards this being somewhat of a token, possibly of foreign minting and not in 1776.

    I also wonder what nearly 200+ year old evidence might surface to settle the debate one way or the other.

    We were recently in Philly. During our tour of a Colonial era home the owner produced a framed newspaper page from the 1770s. There was an ad for a circus which had been previously unknown. The paper had been used as a backing material for the trim installation of the fireplace. One never knows what will turn op totally unexpectedly.

    I hope that the experts continue to chime in. Great and interesting discussion.

    Land of the Free because of the Brave!
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>

    << <i>Lester Olsen wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin and referenced some letters back and forth about the book I referenced above. I did some digging and found that Spener (director for Haude & Spener - publishers of the above book) wrote to Benjamin Franklin on May 26, 1783 asking for illustrations of medals. (See it here: http://franklinpapers.org) Apparently, Franklin had access to them because illustrations of the Libertas and Continental medals were sent over to be used. >>



    It is interesting to note that Franklin considered it a medal. >>



    Just to be clear - a request was made for designs of "medailles frapées" or medals struck. I have no record of a response from Franklin and can only assume it was answered due to the fact that the book was produced with the requested images. >>



    It would be pretty cool if it turned out that Franklin was involved in their creation (as well as the design).
  • I am surprised no one has yet mentioned the poem - so, here is more gas for the fire.

    Published in NYC's Rivington's Royal Gazette on Nov. 7, 1779. The whole poem is long, but the important part is where he says:

    Whoever these important points explains,
    Congress will nobly pay him for his pains,
    Of pewter dollars what both hands can hold;
    A thimble full of plate, a mite of gold;



  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I am surprised no one has yet mentioned the poem - so, here is more gas for the fire.

    Published in NYC's Rivington's Royal Gazette on Nov. 7, 1779. The whole poem is long, but the important part is where he says:

    Whoever these important points explains,
    Congress will nobly pay him for his pains,
    Of pewter dollars what both hands can hold;
    A thimble full of plate, a mite of gold; >>



    I was not familiar with that piece! Thanks for posting it.
    As they say in the wallpaper trade, "How's it hanging?"
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very interesting mention of pewter dollars from 1779. Thanks for sharing image
  • RaufusRaufus Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Very interesting mention of pewter dollars from 1779. Thanks for sharing image >>



    +1!
    Land of the Free because of the Brave!
  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 9,915 ✭✭✭
    This is a fascinating thread...on a very sensitive topic.

    People have paid a lot of money for these coins over the years. If they were ever proven to be somehow less than what we all thought they were, it would be devastating to those people, and it would be a shock to all colonial enthusiasts.
  • keetskeets Posts: 21,179 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I suppose there is enough precedent for Colonial America using foreign coinage as legal tender to render that part of the discussion a moot point. since Franklin traveled through Europe and spent the years in question in France it's logical that he also may have been involved with the coin/medal production. I suppose that since this new information is in the public eye there will be new research and examination of personal papers to see what the old time collectors might have noted about Continental Dollars. since there was a revival of interest in all things tied to the Revolution at the time of the Centennial that may be a good starting point. Prof. Montroeville Dickeson made copies that were sold at the exhibition and he was more of Numismatic scholar than a doctor so he may have made notes that are in his writings.

    I agree with MLC and others, if there is evidence found that it was produced as a token and IS actually a token it will probably lose favor with a segment of the Hobby. Continental Dollars are important no matter what they are so that seems odd.


    --- George Carlin RIP, he'd have a lot of fresh material if he was alive today!!
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