Troku's Blog

30 Aug 2020

American Colonial Coins

Coins-United States Colonial | Troku

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 didn’t want them, they were sent to the colonies. Today, those coins are known as Wood’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 The TAL tokens (Talbot, Allum, and Lee tokens) were originally made for New York merchants, but many were cut down and used as blanks for U.S. Half Cents.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.



Level 7

There were thousands of tokens used in the civil war. People needed to buy goods and clothes. The men fighting bought them and sent them home..

AC coin$

Level 6

Nice posting. Like greek old coins . The owl represents the goddess Athena. Power of wisdom , Sense of nobility.


Level 4



Level 5

Maybe one day I will be able to afford Colonial coins, but for now I will learn all I can about them. Thanks for the blog.

Colonials are the stepchildren of US coinage. When you get into colonials you have to be liberal because many examples you will come across will be well worn. This reflects the scarcity of coinage at the time, so you are also buying history as well. "Environmental Damage' also comes up a lot as well as Details grading. Dave Bowers book on Colonial Coinage is a great reference, and he just released a 2nd edition as a matter of fact.


Level 6

Good blog. Mike says it all about Ireland and these coins.

300 year old coins, many of them are gone but enough remain to be collected by those who want to.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I thought I recently read that there was an issue with the Woods Hibernia that also made them unacceptable to the Irish as well.


Level 7

William Wood made coins for the King. They were made for Ireland. But Ireland did not liken the King and his likeness was on the coin. So they packed them up and sent them to the colonies. There called the Woods Hibernia. In two years they will be 300 years old. Thanks for taking time to write it. Make sure your research is ok. They were used allot. The Fugio was the first American cent authorized by Congress it says United States on it . The year 1787.


Level 5

I need to read a couple books on colonial coinage. Would find it very interesting to learn about the progress and usage of coins back then. I suppose trading and bartering were a big part of life back then.


Level 5

I love reading about Colonial coins, and the number of types is staggering, but what would you expect with so many different Countries and Companies involved. Again, thanks for the Knowledge.

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