1787 New Jersey PCGS MS63 BN CAC. Small Planchet, Plain Shield. This mint state, historic colonial copper is CAC stickered, which indicates that it meets stringent standards for quality within the mint state grade. The coin is a rich red-brown, with slightly darker toning in the fields. The surfaces are clean, hard, and glossy. The strike is sharp especially on the horse’s head and the stripes of the shield. Although not noted on the PCGS insert, the coin is struck about ten percent off center.
The coin shows a horse’s head above a plough. The obverse inscription is NOVA CAESAREA or New Jersey with the date below. The reverse shows a Union shield with the motto E PLUIRBUS UNUM separated by six-pointed stars. Dentils are around the peripheries of both sides. No sprigs are seen on either side of the coin.
New Jersey was founded in 1664 by a Royal Charter and was sometimes called Nova Caesarea. Shillings of Massachusetts and Spanish coins were used in its early days along with English Shillings, which were the primary small change used in the colony. There was much light weight imitation coinage in circulation. In 1787 the governing Council passed a measure that punished those who passed light weight coinage by forfeiting ten times their normal value. The State of New Jersey established coinage in 1786 by allowing Walter Mould, Thomas Goadsby and Albion Cox, later the first Assayer at the United States Mint, to mint copper coins. The coins had to be 126 grains minimum weight. These men continued to produce this coinage together and then separately until 1788. When the Constitution was adopted in 1789, New Jersey stopped making coins.
In 1881 Edward Maris reported that some New Jersey coppers were also struck over those of Connecticut, Vermont, and British Halfpence.
All mint state colonial coins are rare and are eagerly sought after by collectors and specialists. In its population report, PCGS shows this coin, the New Jersey 1787, Small Planchet, Plain Shield, tied for best with one other in MS63 BN. At CAC as of June, 2011, there is only this coin confirmed with no others in mint state.
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