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Identify Coin from 1783


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It is a counterfeit, no genuine coins were struck with that date.




"Following the end of the war in 1783 British counterfeiters saw America as a prime market, especially since passing counterfeit coppers had been made a felony in Britain in 1771"


"The John Bridges Tavern, located just northwest of Ft. Ligonier in western Pennsylvania, was in operation ca. 1775-1795. In the excavation of that site 25 copper coins and four unidentifiable copper disks were unearthed. Fourteen of the sixteen halfpence were counterfeit (there were 11 counterfeit George III halfpence of which two were American made, 3 counterfeit George II halfpence, 1 regal George III halpenny and 1 regal George II halfpenny). The other coins unearthed included: 1 regal George II farthing, 1 cut regal George III halpence (only 1/4 of the coin), 1 New Jersey copper, 1 Virginia halfpenny, 1 Constellatio Nova copper of 1785, 2 Connecticut coppers, 2 French coppers, the 4 completely worn copper disks (which Trudgen suspects were halfpence). In all there were 16 halfpence and 9 other coppers. Of the 25 coppers 64% were British halfpence and out of those only two or 8% were regal and another two or 8% were American counterfeits, thus 48% of all the identifiable coppers found at the site were counterfeit British halfpence.

The Massachusetts Centennial of January 11, 1786:
The copper coinage, current in our town, must be a considerable loss to the citizens at large, as the intrinsick(sic) value of most of the coppers in circulation, is not half what they pass for. Scarce a British vessel arrives in any port on the continent, but what it brings very great quantities of rap(sic) half-pences, and yet shameful as it certainly is, this inundation of base metal is passed with impunity and indifference
The Massachusetts Spy for March 16, 1786 went further:
...nearly one-half of the copper coin in this country for twenty or thirty years past has been of a base kind manufactured at Birmingham in England; however, it crept into circulation and did ... pass for the same value as those which are genuine.
An investigation by the New York legislature led to a report issued on March 5, 1787 discussing the principle coppers then in circulation within the state. The report stated there were firstly a few genuine halfpence, secondly a number of Irish halfpence and:
Thirdly. A very great number of pieces in imitation of British half pence, but much lighter, of inferior copper, and badly executed. -- These are generally called by the name Birmingham Coppers, as it is pretty well known that they are made there, and imported in casks, under the name of Hard Ware , or wrought copper"
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