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Gold in American History

Washington crossing the Delaware river

America's Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, provided that Congress should have the sole right to regulate the alloy and value of coins struck by its own authority or by the respective states. Each state had the right to coin money, but Congress served as a regulating authority. Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey granted coining priveleges to companies or individuals. A number of interesting varieties of these state issues, most of which were struck in fairly large quantities, can still be acquired, and form a basis for many present day collections of early American coins.

Pre-U.S.Mint Coins
Before America minted her own coins, "hard" money from foreign countries was used widely. Spanish, Dutch, Portugese, and English coins traded for goods of all kinds.
1787 Brasher Doubloons
1787 Brasher Doubloon
In 1787, Ephraim Brasher was granted a petition to mint copper coins in New York State. Brasher, a goldsmith and silversmith, was already quite highly regarded for his skills. In fact, George Washington was one of his clients as well as a neighbor at one point in time. Brasher struck various coppers, in addition to a small quantity of gold coins, over the next few years. Keep in mind that the official United States Mint was not to become a reality until 1793 for all intents and purposes. The lack of readily available, full-weight, non-counterfeit coinage, was a major problem in this historically significant point of our nation's growth.
1795 Turban Half Eagles
1795 Turban Head Eagle - both sides
The Half Eagle was the very first gold coin struck at the United States mint. Starting in 1795, the Half Eagle became the only U.S gold coin struck in each of the 8 U.S mints.
1795 Silver Dollars
1795 Silver dollar - both sides
These silver dollars were minted by the United States in 1795.

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