Colonials : Post-1776 Private and Regional Issues

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Ron Guth: This section includes a wide variety of coins and tokens issued after 1776.  All of these coins have great stories. 

Among them are the Talbot, Allum & Lee Tokens.  These were made in Britain as an advertisement for a New York merchant, and redeemable at their store for one cent.  However, not all of the coins were given out.  How do we know this?  Because the Mint purchased a large quanitity of the tokens, then cut them down and used them as blanks for Half Cents.  In fact, many 1797 Half Cents still show some undertype from Talbot, Allum & Lee tokens.

The Castorland "Jetons" were issued by a private company promoting a settlement in New York.  "Castor" was the French word for beaver, which was once plentiful in the area, but which had been trapped out by 1796.  The bottom of the reverse features what looks like a dog at first glance -- it is actually a beaver.

Machin's Mills Coppers look like regal British halfpennies, but they are underweight.  They were created solely to cheat the unsuspecting public, who thought they were getting a full-weight coin.

The Mott Token was another advertising piece, again for a New York merchent.  Many experts believe this to be a later piece because of the similarity between the eagle on the reverse and John Reich's eagle design used from 1807 to 1908 on U.S. coins.

The New York Theatre Token was made in England.  It is included among U.S. colonial coins because of it's association to the New York Theatre, a popular landmark in that city which burnt down shortly thereafter.

The Nova Constellatio coppers are perhaps the closest to an official U.S. coinage, as the designs are similar to those seen on the exceedingly rare 1783 Nova Constellatio silver patterns.  "Nova Cnstellatio" is Latin for New Constellation, referring to the addition of America among the stars in the heavens.

The Kentucky Tokens were issued in New England for sale to collectors.  They can be found with various edge lettering that relates to other British tokens, which are oftne incongruous with an American issue.  The coins received their nick-name because Kentucky is the topmost star on the reverse.

This covers just a few of the coin types listed in this section.  Follow the links to other coins to learn more about their rich history.