U.S. "Colonial Coins" that can be found in high grade (EF to Unc.)

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by johnmilton, Apr 20, 2024.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    One of the members here posted a Kentucky token (page 73 in the 2024 Red Book) that was a ground salvage piece. I commented that he might have found something a good deal better for a little more money.

    While many coins that were used in the American British colonies and Confederation period (1780s) are hard to find nice, especially if you are collecting die varieties, if you are "type collector" like me, that are some higher grade coins that can be found for say, several hundred dollars to a few thousand. I know everyone has a budget, but here are a few.

    The Virginia Half Penny

    Virginia Half Penny All.jpg

    If you got to coin shows regularly, it's sometimes harder to find this coin in the circulated grades that Mint State. This piece was authorized and struck just before the American Revolution began. It seems that a hoard of perhaps seven hundred of them survived without reaching circulation. They have always been available for a price. The 2024 Red Book says $1,400 in Mint State. I paid about $750 for this one years ago and had it graded. PCGS graded it MS-63, R&B.

    The Massachusetts Copper Coinage

    1788 Mass Half Cent All.jpg

    1788 Mass Cent a All.jpg

    Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont had private contractors make their coins. The Massachusetts Government ran its own mint. The coins they made were very high quality for the period. Unfortunately the state added up the costs of running their mint operations, which were divided by function in two locations, it found out that it cost more to produce the coins than their face value. That ended the operation abruptly.

    You can find these coins in VF for reasonable prices. AU's and Mint State pieces are a bit more, but not crazy. The half cent above came from the Eric P. Newman collection. It's an MS-64, and I paid well for it, but well under 5 figures. It was in an NGC MS-65 holder when Heritage sold the Newman collection. The seller sent it to PCGS where it got an MS-64. I paid him a profit, and I suppose I should have gone after it in the auction, but I was looking at other things, which I didn't get.

    The Cent is graded AU-58. I paid less than $4,000 for it. Given "grade-flation" it may well have "healed itself" to Mint State status today. LOL

    Here's one NGC called EF-45. It's not that nice, but I didn't sell it when I upgraded it because I figured I could not get a decent price for it at the time. It's nice brown copper coin with no surface issues.

    Mass cent All.jpg

    Connecticut and New Jersey coppers are popular pieces. Still, if you are looking for representative type coins, and stay away from the rare die varieties, you can get some decent looking coins. Here are couple pieces that NGC called EF.

    CT Copper All.jpg

    1787 NJ Cent All.jpg

    The Nova Eborac was an unofficial New York State coinage. This is one of the common varieties.

    Nova Eborac All.jpg

    My point is it's best to save a fixed amount every month and wait for the "right" coin to come along rather than rush into things with problem coins. That's what I did in the 1970s and '80s. I had years when I bought no more that one or two "big coins" a year. Of course back then "a big coin" cost $1,000 to $2,000.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2024
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  3. l.cutler

    l.cutler Member

    Very nice! This is the opposite end of the spectrum, this coin is worn, scratched and cleaned, but one of only 8 currently known. It's a 33.28-Z.20 33.28 obverse.jpg 33.28 reverse.jpg
  4. l.cutler

    l.cutler Member

    I initially got a higher grade Connecticut type coin, but when I drifted off into varieties, I tried to get better ones, but sometimes there aren’t a lot of options. I do have some nicer grade Rosa Americanas, they are attractive coins especially with the brassy “bath metal” color.
    Eduard likes this.
  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    From what have read, the Rosa Americana coins were not very popular in America. Therefore they tend to be found with little wear. Corrosion is their biggest problem. The later coins, in the 1780s, are tougher.

    Having attended some 4C meetings, I see guys showing slides of Rarity 8 Connecticut copper varieties with very little left of the design. Okay, if that floats your boat. My boat sank a few minutes ago. I know that makes me a philistine, but I can’t help it.
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  6. l.cutler

    l.cutler Member

    We all have our own ways and preferences, that's what keeps things interesting! Thanks again for sharing.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2024
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  7. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Celebrating 75 Years Active Collecting Supporter

    I like coins that had to work for a living.
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  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Honest wear is one thing; corrosion and environmental damage is another. That’s why those problems have more significant effects on the value.
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  9. Tall Paul

    Tall Paul Supporter! Supporter

    I don't have very many colonial and post-colonial coins in my collection. Primarily because it is tough to find coins that are relatively free of problems.

    1670 St. Patrick Farthing, VF-35

    1794 Franklin Press token, VF-30. From the 2024 Red Book:"This piece is an English tradesmen's token, but, being associated with the Franklin name, has accordingly been included in American collections."
  10. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting! While I don't collect American coins, I enjoy learning from experienced collectors. The pre-1800 stuff would probably be the coins I'd be most interested in.
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  11. l.cutler

    l.cutler Member

    That's a nice St. Patrick halfpenny, the splasher really shows up on it.
  12. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    I would have much preferred to have this William Pitt Farthing in EF, or anything approaching that grade in my collection, but am plenty happy with this example as it is. Only 26-28 examples are known.

    PITT FARTHING - MY EXAMPLE - OBV:REV - VGP - choose    .png
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