EARLY AMERICAN CONFEDERATIONAL COINAGE

When Britain’s American colonies declared their independence in 1776, one of the greatest problems facing the Continental Congress was financing the war effort. The supply of refined silver and gold, as well as the raw ore from which these metals were taken, was quite small in the American colonies. The great gold and silver discoveries […]
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1793 LIBERTY CAP HALF CENT BUST LEFT

In January of 1793, King Louis XVI of France literally lost his head, ushering in what history would call the “Reign of Terror.” The French Revolution, though founded on the lofty principles of the American model, descended into the chaos and bloody wars of the Napoleonic Era. Across the Atlantic, however, the United States with […]
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1794-97 LIBERTY CAP HALF CENT BUST RIGHT

In August of 1794, at the battle of Fallen Timbers in Ohio, the English were finally driven from the western forts they had maintained since the Revolution. Although America’s struggle with the British Empire had ended, revolutionary France was still embroiled in external wars and internal chaos. While French soldiers streamed into the Low Countries, […]
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1800-08 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT

The half cent was America’s unwanted coin from its introduction in 1793 until its official demise in 1857. Over this 60-year span, few of the coins circulated freely, and then mainly in the larger cities of the rapidly expanding nation. Coin collectors long neglected the denomination. Little sought and studied even less, the coins were […]
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1809-36 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT

The beginning of the 19th century saw Europe in turmoil. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing. England, at the forefront of technology, was trying to maintain a monopoly on the new machines and processes that gave it great economic advantage. Industrial spies from other countries exploited inventors and workers in order to duplicate these […]
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1840-57 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT

Although gold and silver still took center stage in the 18th and 19th century monetary world, copper coins were dear to the colonial experience. Since well before the American Revolution, small coppers minted by official and unofficial sources circulated virtually everywhere in the Thirteen Colonies. The large number and variety of colonial coppers attest to […]
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1793 FLOWING HAIR CHAIN CENT

In 1793, democracy was still a struggling and unproven form of government. In France, the revolution that erupted with such force four years earlier, began the year with the beheading of Louis XVI, and that country’s struggle with democracy degenerated into near anarchy with the Reign of Terror. Meanwhile, the fledgling U.S. was trying to […]
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