Before the first U.S. coins were struck for widespread circulation at
the Philadelphia Mint in 1793, a wide variety of coins circulated in
America including a mix of foreign coins and Colonial and
Confederation issues. The broad label of “Colonial issues” encompasses
multiple major types and most people’s introduction to this area comes
through A Guide Book of United States Coins — the “Red Book” —
which lists major varieties. Specialists have gone into exhaustive
detail in each of these areas, and the coins aren’t always pretty.
Here are three that were offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries at the
Whitman Baltimore Expo that show that these historically important
issues don’t have to be attractive to be very expensive.
Here's one of the “ugly” Colonial rarities we profile in this week’s
1786 New Jersey Copper, Curved Plow Beam, Bridle, ground find
The New Jersey General Assembly authorized the production of 3
million coppers to be completed within two years. Today these New
Jersey coppers are a well-researched area with hundreds of distinct
varieties. The exhaustive 2013 American Numismatic Society publication
New Jersey State Coppers updated Edward Maris’s 1881
reference to the series and brought new attention to the series.
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This 1786 New Jersey copper is the third known example of the Maris
18-L variety, which was represented by a single example until 2011
when a second was offered on eBay. The subject coin was found in
Passaic County, N.J., by metal detectorist Peter McGinty in 2016.
McGinty posted photos of his find to the Colonial Coin Collectors Club
online forum to confirm an attribution.
SS Central America reveals thousands of new
findings, celebrating the ‘house organ’:
Another column in the June 19 Coin World expounds on some
intriguing half dollar varieties.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries cataloger wrote, “It would not
surprise us if this coin was lost to the ground shortly after it was
minted, given the abundant sharpness of the devices despite the
corroded surfaces; it had traveled no more than 20 or 30 miles from
its place of manufacture when it fell to the ground, only to be
rediscovered 230 [years] later.” The rarity brought $14,100 on March 29.