Pre-1776 Private and Regional Issues

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Ron Guth: The Pre-1776 Private and Regional Issues section contains a wide range of interesting (and often rare) coins and tokens. First among them are the Sommer Islands Coin that were issued for the country we know today as Bermuda. The front of the coin bears the image of a pig, hence the old nickname "Hogge Money" (apparently pigs overran the island after they had been left there by earlier settlers, providing a food source for visitors and inhabitants).

The American Plantation Tokens were issued under royal edict for British plantations in America. These are known in both Original and Restrike versions. All were made of tin, making it difficult to find high-grade, corrosion-free examples.

Rosa Americana and Wood's Hibernia coins are British and Irish issues, respectively, created by William Wood. The Rosa Americana coins achieved limited circulation in America, but it is doubtful if many of the Hibernia coins ever made it to America (rather, they are included because of their close association with the Rosa Americana pieces).

The Elephant tokens are quite unusual in that pachyderms never existed in colonial America. The undated issues circulated mostly in England (London to be more specific), and they are included in the American colonial coin series becuase of the references made on the 1694 pieces to New England and the Carolinas.

The New Yorke and Goucester pieces were highly localized issues; both are extremely rare.

The Higley coppers originated in a copper mining operation in Granby, Connecticut operated by Dr. Samuel Higley. Surviving examples are well-worn and all are very rare.

The Voce Populi coins were an Irish issue of Farthings and Halfpenny denominations. While it is doubtful if many (if any) circulated in America, they are linked by the legend "Voce Populi" to the 1783 Georgius Triumpho coin (see the section on Washington pieces).

Finally, the Pitt Tokens. These are most likely British tokens issued to memorialize the English statesman William Pitt, who (as referenced on the coins) was a kind friend to the Americans. This association, and the fact that examples have been found in America, merits their inclusion in this category.