Museum of American Finance
American Revolution 1776 Coins

American Revolution 1776 Coins

Item #: S-10853
The American Revolution Coins of 1776 are a set of these coins: The Continental Dollar, The Massachusetts Pine Tree Copper, The Spanish Bust Peso, The New Hampshire Halfpenny, and Two Bits.

The Continental Dollar of 1776 was intended for the redemption of the Continental paper currency which was issued and distributed to finance the Revolutionary War. Shortage of silver forced coinage in brass and pewter, giving rise to the expression, "not worth a Continental".

The obverse show a dial, a median sun and the Fugio (time flies) and Mind Your Business words credited to Ben Franklin. On the reverse, thirteen linked circles representing the original states ring the words We are One.

Massachusetts Pine Tree Copper (1776) pattern was engraved by Paul Revere. With the inscription "ICLM" presumably representing "one cent lawful money.öOn the reverse is a figure probably intended to represent the Goddess of Liberty, with a dog sitting at her feet. The legend "Liberty and Virtue" surround the figure.

The Spanish Bust Peso (1787) bears the portrait of Carlos 3rd (1759-1788) and the legend Dei Gratia (by the grace of God). Reverse shows Pillars of Hercules, gates to the New World.

Two Bits: The Spanish Reale piece was frequently cut in half (4 bits), quarters (2 bits) and halved again to make change. Frequently the coin was counter-stamped and revalued for coinage of other countries.

The New Hampshire Halfpenny (1776) march was the first state to establish coinage following the Declaration of Independence with a tree as the design with the legend, "American Liberty". The coins were crudely cast using molten copper rather than being struck.


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