Colonial Coins by Type | U.S. Coins by Denomination

  
CONFEDERATIO COPPER COINS

Notes:
From "The Early Coins of America" by Sylvester S. Crosby --

"An interesting series of pieces is next presented, which are curiously connected, and extensively muled. The Confederatios form the principal portion of this group, which is illustrated on Plate VII. Nos. 10 to 24 inclusive.

Most of the members of this group, the Confederatios excepted, have not been supposed to bear any relation to each other, or to any other series:  but if it is allowable to judge of the origin of these pieces by marked peculiarities common to most of them, proving conclusively the use of the same punches in making the dies, and by the muling of these dies with others, the origin of which is believed to be known, and which exhibit the same marked peculiarities, we may fairly infer that all of these were produced by the same artist under his direction.

The group thus formed comprises the Confederatios, which include among their reverses a Libertas et Justitia of 1785, a Washington and the Immunis Columbia, of 1786, and the "New York Excelsiors." It numbers in all (excluding the two New Jerseys connected with it on the plate,) thirteen dies, which are struck in fourteen combinations.

It is very probable that some of these dies were designed as patterns for the coins of New Jersey, while others were intended for those of New York; and some, perhaps, sprung from the more ambitious motive of furnishing a coin for National adoption, the Washington pieces of this group being not inappropriate, in respect to the ideas expressed upon them, for such a purpose.

The dies for these patterns we believe to have been made by Thomas Wyon, of Birmingham, England, and it is supposed that most of the impressions from the dies was brought to America, and used here, as it forms the reverse of one of the New Jersey coins.

The fact that the date of the obverse with which this reverse die first appeared, is that of the earliest coins of New Jersey, suggests that this die was the pattern adopted for the coin of that State, and was procured, and preserved as a model for other dies until the year following, when it was brought into use, but to a very limited extent, as we find but two specimens bearing its impress.

Implicit reliance as to the common origin of two dies cannot be reposed in a judgment based upon their presence upon the same planchet: but when this evidence is supported by a marked similarity in the workmanship of the dies, it may be taken as conclusive.

Thus in the case of the Immune Columbia muled with the Vermon Auctori and the Georgivs III Rex; the first is a finely executed die, probably by Wyon, while both the others are of a very inferior style of workmanship, probably by Atlee: we cannot account for their presence in the same hands in order to effect these combinations, unless the Immune die was procured by Atlee, as it is probable that the shield die was, either by him, or by the undertakers of the coinage for New Jersey.

The same remarks will apply to the workmanship of the obverse of the New Jersey coin which is coupled with the reverse die of the Immunis of 1786. This reverse we attribute to Wyon; but we are not of the opinion that the New Jersey obverse came from the same hand, neither does it resemble in any respect, any die of the group now under consideration.

The Inimica Tyrannis America furnishes an interesting instance of a narrow escape from the loss of an important specimen. It was found in digging up an old drain, in Berlin, Connecticut, in 1861. How many varieties of coins have been thus lost, but not so fortunately recovered, it is impossible to estimate."

Significant examples:
In the February 2005 issue of NUMISMATIST (page 63), William Anton offered a 1785 Gen. Washington Large Star Confederatio for $385,000.00, describing it as follows: "Choice Abt. Unc.  Full hair on Washington's head."