Zack W. writes: I have a 1776 New Hampshire Copper coin, with the WM initials on the back. I think it is worth quite a bit of money. Could you tell me about this coin? Also, is there a way you could tell if it is authentic? Thanks.
In 1776 William Moulton was commissioned by the New Hampshire State House of Representatives to make copper patterns for a proposed state coinage. The pattern most known shows a Pine Tree on the obverse and a harp on the reverse Recent auction prices to $13,000. (Stickney/Ellsworth/Garrett coin). The initials WM stands for William Moulton.
Other patterns include a hand engraved piece and a piece with the large initials WM on the reverse. These pieces may not be the work of Moulton.
Very few of these New Hampshire copper cast patterns survived. They are notoriously counterfeited and must be authenticated by a knowledgeable organization such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). Genuine pieces are very valuable.