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The Articles of Confederation, which loosely governed the thirteen states from 1778 until 1789, permitted each state to mint its own coins. Before any of the United States undertook such a coinage, Vermont, then an independent republic, beat them to it. Like most of the copper coins, those of Vermont were produced by private companies under contract to the government. In 1785, Reuben Harmon, Jr., of Rupert, Vermont was given an exclusive franchise to mint coppers. The design of these coins features a view of the sun rising over a mountaintop, which is covered in pine trees. Below this are a plow and the date. The reverse of these coins is similar to that of the Constellatio Nova coppers.

After just a year, the Vermont coppers were redesigned to resemble the worn British halfpence which formed the majority of copper coins in circulation. The new issue featured a profile bust of a man wearing leather mail, similar to the familiar portrait of King George III. The reverse of each coin showed the seated goddess Britannia. While these revised coppers look like British coins, at least their mottoes are American.

In this form, Vermont coppers were made as late as 1789, though the later issues were counterfeits made at a site called Machin's Mills near Newburgh, New York. Thomas Machin and his partners made a specialty of producing fakes of whatever copper coins were being most widely accepted at the time. Since the popularity of each issue varied from one year to the next, he even overstruck the designs of one coin type on existing coins of another type to take advantage of this shifting favor!

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

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