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Valuable, rare early American coin found in French flea market junk box
Rare coin experts at California-based Professional Coin Grading Service say this 1776-dated early American coin, valued today at US$97,500 (about €89,850), was purchased for only 50 cents Euro (US 56 cents) at a flea market in northern France and submitted to the company's Paris office for authentication. Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

SANTA ANA, CA.- United States rare coin experts have confirmed that a previously unknown example of a rare 1776-dated early American coin was found in a flea market junk box in France and purchased for only 50 cents Euro, about 56 U.S. cents. The coin is valued today at US$97,500, about €89,850.

“It is a 1776 Continental Currency dollar made of pewter, a rare and historic early American coin. It was purchased at a flea market in Northern France and months later after researching the coin online the owner submitted it to our Paris office for authentication,” explained Brett Charville, President of Santa Ana, California-based Professional Coin Grading Service.

“The coin’s owner, who wants to remain anonymous, said it was on top of a pile of otherwise common coins and medals contained in a cookie box. The flea market seller wanted only 50 cents Euro for it. We estimate that today it’s a treasure worth $97,500,” said Charville.

Among the words in the coin’s design are CONTINENTAL CURRENCY, AMERICAN CONGRESS and MIND YOUR BUSINESS, a phrase attributed to Benjamin Franklin that also appeared on some early American copper coins.

“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,” said Charville.

“The experts at our Paris rare coin authentication and grading office were blown away with this discovery because 1776 Continental Currency dollars are highly treasured and not often seen. We’ve only authenticated 80 of this type in the last 34 years that Professional Coin Grading Service has been in business,” he added.

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is the premier third-party coin and banknote grading company that was launched in 1986. Over nearly 35 years, PCGS has examined and certified some 43 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of more than $36.6 billion. For more information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, please visit www.PCGS.comor call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

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