Lifestyle & Human Interest

Rare 1776 Continental Dollar Purchased for Less Than $1 at Flea Market Actually Worth Nearly $100K


A coin that had been tossed into an old box and sold for less than a dollar turned out to be a rare and highly prized 1776 Continental Currency Dollar coin worth almost $100,000.

According to a Rare Coin Market Report by Professional Coin Grading Services, this 1776 Continental Currency Dollar coin is “highly treasured and not often seen,” and was found and purchased from a “junk box for 50 cents euro” at a flea market in Northern France.

The organization explained that the coin was originally thought to have been circulated in the United States alongside the banknotes that the brand-new U.S. Congress had issued and authorized.

In recent years, however, others have voiced the opinion that the coin was manufactured in England as a way to mock the newly formed United States, made from pewter as a symbol of the worthlessness of American currency.

“While the origin of these pieces is still under debate, the 1776 Continental Dollars are important early coinage celebrating the birth of the brand-new nation of the United States,” PCGS reported.

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PCGS released photos of each side of the coin with descriptors of the markings and words:

“1776 Continental Dollars feature an obverse of three rings. The center ring design is a sundial, with the rays of the sun and text below the dial, ‘MIND YOUR BUSINESS,'” PCGS said.

“The next ring features ‘FUGIO’ and the sun. The last ring contains the text, ‘CONTINENTAL CURRENCY,'” PCGS stated.

“The reverse features a design of interlocking chain links around the border of the face, featuring the names of the 13 colonial states. The reverse design contains two rings, the center of two rings reads ‘WE ARE ONE’ and the ring around the center ring reads ‘AMERICAN CONGRESS.'”

“The coins have several varieties in the spelling, ornamental designs, or in metal compositions. While produced in a variety of metals, the coin was most often struck in pewter.”

The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, reportedly did a bit of online research and realized the coin may be valuable. A local coin dealer was unsure of the value and suggested the buyer send it to America for authentication.

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Instead, the buyer brought the coin to the European PCGS office located in Paris, where it was authenticated and graded.

The value of the coin that had been sitting in someone’s junk box is $97,500.

“This iconic coin has been heavily counterfeited and many restrikes have been produced privately. Even these private restrikes have gained popularity due to the scarcity of original examples and are now being actively collected,” PCGS said.

PCGS said the organization was thrilled to play a part in the coin’s story, making one French coin collector likely very satisfied.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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