1787 Copper Vermont, Britannia, BN AU50BN Certification #03752683, PCGS #554
The 1787 BRITTANIA reverse Vermont Copper is one of the more unusual varieties in the series. At first glance, this appears to be an unlikely muling of a Vermont obverse die with a reverse of a British Halfpenny. In reality, this is what is known as an evasion piece, which is a polite way of saying it was a counterfeit coin meant to be a copy of a British Halfpenny. This one was made in America to be used in America. Despite the legends on the obverse, the bust mimicked King George closely enough to pass a cursory examination. At the time this piece circulated, many of the copper coins used by Americans were evasions, out-and-out counterfeits, or a panoply of state coppers. American colonists were so desperate for coins that they accepted these often underweight coppers out of necessity.
Only one variety (Ryder 13) comprises the entire population of the BRITANNIA reverse. Like most Vermont Coppers, this variety is hard to find in high grade or on problem-free planchets. Later states of the die show a very indistinct reverse, thus grading muts be based primarily on the obverse. Uncirculated examples are exceedingly rare.