Leslie M. writes: I found a coin on the west coast of Fla. with a metal detector. On one side is an image of a lady w/flowers in her right hand, her hair is in a bun, and she wears billowing skirt. Words on the coin: to her right reads INDE, to her left reads ETILB. On the flip side of the coin is what looks like an Indian in headress. On the left side reads AUCTOKI (?) and on the right side reads CONNEC. I’ve been told this is a Conn. penny. The date on the same side as the image of the woman is 178?, I can’t make out the last #. Value?Â
You have a Connecticut copper (1785-1789), the emergency money created by the State of Connecticut to alleviate the shortage of small change during the transition from colony to Statehood. The coin was modeled on the English halfpence (9.72 grams). The legends are ACCTORI:CONNEC, (by authority of Connecticut) and INDE. ET LIB. (Independence and Liberty).
The obverse shows a bust dressed in mail, and the reverse, a crude depiction of Liberty seating on a rock, a shield facing front, and her holding a staff with a Liberty Cap on its top (after Britannia seated on a Rock).
The coppers, about the size of a English half penny, were minted by a group including John Goodrich, Samuel Bishop, James Hillhouse and Joseph Hopkins. They were given the authority by the state of Connecticut to establish a mint near New Haven. It is not quite clear whether they did the work themselves or sub-contracted some of it out to New York merchants Samuel Broome and Jeremiah Platt.
There are many varieties of this coin, including pieces made outside of “official channels”. Values range from $25 -$2000 depending on type, variety and grade.