Collections of Connecticut and New Jersey copper coins, billed by Stack’s Bowers Galleries as among the finest ever formed, will be offered at auction by the firm in New York City from Jan. 25 to 27.
Begun in the 1960s, these two specialties include Condition Census coins, great rarities, and many other pieces, according to the auction firm.
The two collections are the most extensive of either state offered at auction since the John J. Ford Jr. Collection crossed the block in the mid-2000s (offered by Stack’s), notes Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
Of the slightly more than 400 known die varieties of 1785 to 1788 Connecticut coppers, Collection SLT includes 290 different examples, plus additional mint errors and die states, according to the firm. Of more than 130 different varieties of New Jersey coppers minted from 1786 to 1788, Collection SLT includes 86 different examples.
Connecticut and New Jersey authorized copper coinages under authority granted to states in the Articles of Confederation. States lost coinage authority when the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
The state of Connecticut desired to issue copper coins and in 1785 granted a franchise to several entrepreneurs. Coinage was accomplished near New Haven beginning that year, continuing for some time afterward. Many different varieties were produced, usually on heavier planchets than later issues. These circulated widely in their time and were a nice addition to other coins then in commerce, such as British halfpence, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
Copper coins of the state of New Jersey were authorized by the Council and General Assembly on June 1, 1786, with the coining privilege or franchise granted to a group of entrepreneurs comprising Walter Mould, Thomas Goadsby and Albion Cox. The contract specified that 3 million copper coins be produced, each weighing 150 grains of pure copper.
Goadsby was a businessman and investor, and Cox, later employed by the Philadelphia Mint, was a skilled silversmith and assayer.
Matthias Ogden, who coordinated the granting of the coining contract, was later involved, apparently more directly, at his home in Elizabethtown. Ogden, who had served with distinction in the Revolution, was a stage-line owner who had a contract for delivering mail between New York City and Philadelphia. He apparently acquired a coining press at some point; his widow sold a press to the Philadelphia Mint in 1794 for $47.44, according to Frank Stewart in his History of the First United States Mint.
Connecticut coppers highlights