CONFEDERATIO COPPER COINS
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
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
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
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."
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."