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Coinage in Colonial Virginia (US) - 1678 Scottish Bawbee


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Pictured is a 1678 Scottish Bawbee (sixpence).


Pursuant to Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 135, Coinage for Colonial Virginia, Eric P. Newman, ©1956, pg.33, a specimen of this type and year was discovered during the renovation of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Such a discovery confirms that at least one specimen [of this type] had been indeed in circulation sometime in Virginia's colonial times.


Due to availability, it took quite some time to find this specimen. And though I would have liked to have acquired a specimen in higher grade, I believe that this one has retained a nice chocolate coloring and much of its design has remained intact. The dealer that I acquired it from graded it as an F+ (U.K.)


At present I do not have an attribution for this specimen, if indeed attributions have been documented - or if in fact have been confirmed to exist. Further study in the matter is being conducted.


Any comments and thoughts about it are appreciated and welcomed.


Additionally, if folks have other obscure specimens that have been documented as having circulated in the U.S. Colonies, I'd love to see them!


Thanks, kindly




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There was an earlier bodle found near Jamestown during an excavation during the 1990's. Also Dutch duits, and French sols have been found. Dutch and French small change coins were fairly common in Scotland during the 17th century as the Scottish mint didn't really fill the need for small coinage, a legacy that lasted well into the 18th century in the United Kingdom - which is precisely why 17th century coins are worn almost smooth a lot of the time - they were common in circulation into the 1760's.


After the Union of 1707 all Scottish silver and gold coins were recalled and new sterling given out in payment. But coppers were not recalled, and the bodle was the rough equivalent of a farthing and the bawbee would have circulated as a halfpenny.

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Nice example, but being graded UK style I assume that this was purchased from the Uk(I believe I even know from which UK dealer) though of the type found in Williamsburg, it is likely its very first trip across the pond.


Indeed. Hence the phraseology "a specimen of this type and year" in the OP.


Much of the same can be said of the frequent Wood's Hibernias and conders offered on ebay...

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