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Man Buys 1776 Coin for 56 Cents But Finds Out It Is Actually Worth Nearly $100K

A man who hails from Northern France was handed a welcome surprise after he found out that a rare coin that he purchased for 56 cents was actually worth almost $100,000.

According to the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), the 1776 Continental Currency Dollar was sold to the unnamed man at a French flea market in June 2018.

The buyer, who declined to disclose his identity, was looking through a cooke box full of coins and medals for sale, when the seller pulled out another box full of coins. The coin on top was the Continental Dollar, which he bought for 56 cents.

After the purchase, the new owner searched the terms “Continental Currency” and “1776” on Google to find out more about his latest purchase. The man learned that he may have bought something valuable so he took it to a coin dealer for authenticity. The dealer, however, was unsure of its value and advised the owner to send the item to the U.S. for authentication.

Upon further research, the owner discovered that he did not have to send the coin to the U.S. He only needed to take it to the European PCGS office in Paris to determine its authenticity.

The PCGS said that the seasoned graders in Paris was “blown away” by the discovery. The grading experts described the coin as a “true treasure” and valued it at $97,500. The PCGS only found out about the story of the coin’s discovery after the certification. The grading service described the coin as a “problem-free” item and gave it a grade of Mint State 62.

The 1776 Continental Dollar was initially thought to be coinage that was circulated along with banknotes authorized and issued by Congress for the continental U.S. Some experts, however, believed that the coins were medals made by England as satire to mock the value of the U.S. currency.

Despite its unknown origin, the 1776 Continental Dollar is considered as an early coinage that celebrates the birth of the U.S.

The obverse design has three rings and some texts. The center ring shows a sundial with the text “MIND YOUR BUSINESS.” The word “FUGIO” and an etching of the sun appears on the second ring. The text “CONTINENTAL CURRENCY” is featured in the last ring.

On the reverse side, the design features interlocking chain links that contain the names of the 13 colonial stes on the border of the face. A ring on the center contains the text “WE ARE ONE” and another ring around the center contains the words “AMERICAN CONGRESS.”

The continental coin is made up of various metals, but mostly of pewter. The PCGS said that the rare coin has been heavily counterfeited. Restrikes of the coin have been produced privately, and even the restrikes have become popular among collectors because of the rarity of the originals.

The PCGS said that hunting for rare coins such as the 1776 Continental Dollar was one of the “greatest joys” in the hobby of numismatics – the study or collection of currency.

“Discoveries like this enchant the hobby and continue that dream of what is left in the wild yet to be discovered. PCGS is thrilled to help collectors obtain the full value of their treasures and be a part of this wonderful discovery,” the grading service said in a statement.