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Colonial Coins are among the most fascinating areas of American numismatics to study. Virtually all Colonial Coins are rare, and many are only represented by heavily circulated examples. A high grade colonial coin is a major rarity which might not be offered more than once in a decade or even longer. Collecting Colonial Coins needs patience, but once a collector decides to focus on its field he will be awarded with a collecting pursuit of a lifetime, which can be filled in many different ways. Colonial Coins can be roughly divided into at least four different groups, although many people have different opinions on this. Historical significance, rarity and availability will all play a vital role in the decisions that a collector of Colonial Coins should make.

Colonial coins and tokens struck and used in the colonies

Colonial CoinsMany collectors of colonial coins will try to focus on this group. Starting with the first silver coins struck in Massachusetts, which are usually available in circulated condition but become rare in high, problem-free grades, this category contains various copper and silver coins. Many varieties are rare enough to make this an endearing collecting challenge. Often also included in this category are State copper issues struck from 1783 and 1788 and early American coins struck after the Declaration of Independence. Made in Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut Massachusetts and various other places, many of these are available in lower grades, but become very rare in high grades. Many different varieties exist.

Coins and tokens struck outside America but intended for use in the colonies

This is a very interesting group, which is very vaguely defined and goes along with the next group. These pieces were struck outside of the colonies, usually in the United Kingdom and were intended for use in the Americas. Early issues include coins struck by Cecil Calvert, second Lord of Baltimore for use in Maryland, 17th century tokens struck for use on American plantations. Later issues include various tokens of private manufactory, which are sometimes placed in the next category as well. This is the largest group of colonial coins when it comes to different issues, and contains many rarities which are seldom offered at any grade level.

Coins and tokens struck outside of America for use elsewhere but related to the colonial series

Colonial CoinsThis is a very confusing group, and sometimes it is not clear if coins or tokens should be placed in the previous group or this group. Many British coins and tokens have American themes, or were previously believed to have been intended for circulation in the colonies. However, research on most of these pieces has concluded that they are unrelated to the American colonies. Yet, because of numismatic tradition they are often collected by collectors of American colonial coins, and are thus listed in the major reference books. Examples include ‘Elephant tokens’ struck in London in the late 19th century, Wood’s Hibernia and Voce Populi coinage struck in Ireland in the 18th century. It must be noted that while unrelated, it is always possible that some circulated in the American colonies.

Various world coins which circulated in the American colonies

Colonial CoinsAnother very interesting group, which could include every coin struck in the world from the 15th century until the early 19th century. People who lived in the American colonies saw a large number of world coins in commerce, of various countries, metals and values. However, a number of them are known to have circulated heavily in early America, and are often collected as a side subject in serious collections of American colonial coinage. These include Mexican and South-American Reales, Dutch Lion Dollars, German Thalers and many British copper and silver issues. These were legal tender in the United States until 1857, and many are still excavated from American soil. A very interesting field, there are many rarities but also circulated coins which are relatively affordable.

Colonial Coins - Colonial Coinage - Information on Colonial Coins

US Rare Coin Investments 2003 - 2015 U.S. Rare Coin Investments

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