American Colonial Coins
You may be wondering about how coins looked in America before we adopted the Constitution. If you want to know about colonial coins, then this is the article for you. In this article, I will discuss foreign coins used in the U.S. and coins officially sanctioned
by the colonies.
There were many foreign coins used in the colonies, including coins from France, Ireland, Britain, Spain, among others. First, I will be talking about the French coins. Many experts debate about which French coins were used in the colonies, so if you want to collect
French coins to add to your colonial collection, just collect what you want. Next, there were Irish coins in the colonies. Examples of this are the St. Patrick Farthings and Halfpennies. In 1722, a man named William Wood started making copper Farthings and
Halfpennies for Ireland, but Ireland rejected it because they said the coins were too light. Because Ireland didnâ€™t want them, they were sent to the colonies. Today, those coins are known as Woodâ€™s Hibernia Farthings and Halfpennies.
Next, there were British coins. Because the colonies were such an important trading partner, the British supplied few coins to the colonies. Even so, many British coins made their way to the colonies. In the 1790s, many types of tokens were made privately for merchants
or collectors. The TAL tokens (Talbot, Allum, and Lee tokens) were originally made for New York merchants, but many were cut down and used as blanks for U.S. Half Cents. Lastly, there were Spanish coins in the colonies. In the 1700s, Spain had an advantage
over all of the other countries that controlled territories in North America- it had Mexico. The large silver mines in Mexico supplied Spain with plenty of the metal, which most of the silver was turned into coins before being shipped. Many of the Spanish
coins made their way into the colonies and were accepted by most everyone. A popular coin at the time was the Piece of Eight coin, which served as the standards for U.S. dollar coins.
Many of the colonies made their own special coins. I will discuss the coins officially sanctioned by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia. First, in Massachusetts, specially authorized individuals made copper Large Cents and Half Cents. The obverse of the coins
display a Native American holding a bow and a spear and the reverse of the coins feature an eagle with outstretched wings and a shield on its breast. Next, in Connecticut, they began producing coins known as Connecticut Coppers from 1785 to 1788. You can find varieties of these coins including Muttonhead, Horned Bust, Laughing Head, and others. Finally, King George the III of Britain authorized the mintage of copper coins in Virginia. Known as Virgina Coppers,
these coins displayed a portrait of King George the III on the front, and his coat of arms on the back.
In conclusion, there are many good colonial coins that were created in the U.S., but in my opinion, the best colonial coins to collect are the ones that you see fit to complete your colonial collection.