Loading...

Whatever Happened to the First Truly American Coins?
Meet Robert Morris, the Confederation’s first Superintendent of Finance and the man credited with financing the American Revolutionary War. Assuming the responsibilities of his office in 1781, he set about developing a new set of coinage for the fledgling nation. In his diary, in an entry dated April 2, 1783, he announced the delivery of “a piece of silver coin being the first that has been struck as an American coin.”

 

That system of coinage Morris created was the Nova Constellatio. He established the quarter grain of silver as the basic “unit”, and proposed the first monetary system be based on decimal math, with a standard denomination system based on 1,000 units, that made it relatively easy to convert not just the diverse currencies of the 13 states, but foreign coins as well. Working with Alexander Hamilton, Morris was able to get his Nova Constellatio coins produced in 1783—in three denominations: 1,000-units, 500-units and 5-units—and put before Congress. The coins were later forwarded to Thomas Jefferson for his comments.

 

Morris’ proposal was eventually rejected—due to the poor state of the U.S. government’s finances at the time—but his Nova Constellatio coins made a strong, lasting impression with many, and were proposed again some years later. Only at that time, they were proposed by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, and instead of the “unit”, the proposal was for a new denomination bearing the names “dollars and cents”. In the end, these Nova Constellatio pattern coins represent the birth of the American currency system, along with the beginning of the decimal monetary system in the western world.



Officially Licensed by the Smithsonian® 
In honor of the 240th anniversary of the introduction of the 1783 Nova Constellatio coin patterns, the Smithsonian authorized these one-ounce Gold and two-ounce Silver commemoratives. Engravers at the Commonwealth Mint closely studied images of the 500-units patterns which were deemed to be the most beautiful, and reproduced the designs in exacting detail—with the same look and feel as the original pieces. An antiqued finish provides an aged, satin effect to the fields, while also highlighting the raised devices. Additionally, these commemoratives are struck onto 13-sided planchets—a nod to the 13 stars in the New Constellation.

 

Using Modern Equipment to Replicate Centuries-Old Designs Is a Challenge 
Using modern machinery to strike proofs with the same look and feel as pieces struck 240 years ago presents quite a challenge. Modern coinage usually incorporates a thick, raised rim, which helps protect the devices, and allows coins to be easily stacked. These rims were not common or easily produced in the 18th century, and were not present on the original 1783-dated Nova Constellatio patterns.

 

Another hurdle is in replicating the designs of the original 1783 pieces while still maintaining the quality standards that allow the quality grades collectors look for today—grades that almost certainly could never have been achieved by the originally struck coins. 

 

Despite these challenges, the Commonwealth Mint—located in Birmingham, England—managed to capture the appearance of the originals, with commemoratives that have been graded to excellent result by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC).

 

Handsome Designs from Over Two Centuries Ago
The obverse design of the 1783 Nova Constellatio patterns shows a radiant eye of providence at the center, surrounded by a constellation of 13 stars representing the original 13 states. The design was meant to symbolize God’s compassionate watchfulness over the new constellation, that was the young United States of America.

 

The reverse design shows a simple laurel wreath, surrounding “U.S.” and the proposed denomination. Surrounding this wreath are the Latin legends for the core U.S. values of “LIBERTAS” (Liberty) and “JUSTITIA” (Justice). The Smithsonian Sunburst logo and year are featured on top.



Struck in 99.99% Gold and 99.9% Silver
Sizes authorized for this sensational release include coins struck in one ounce of high-purity 99.99% gold, and two ounces of 99.9% fine silver. You can also choose the 2-piece. Set consisting of both pieces.

 

NGC-Certified as Perfect MS70 and FDI
Each piece has been certified by NGC to be in flawless Mint State-70 (MS70) condition, with a First Day of Issue (FDI) designation, which means it was submitted for grading with a mint letter documenting it was struck on or before its first day of release.

 

Exclusive Smithsonian Labels
These commemoratives will be slabbed by NGC with exclusive Smithsonian labels, featuring the iconic sun logo and the text “Smithsonian Collection”.

 

Extremely Limited Mintages
These Nova Constellatio Pieces are available in very limited quantities. The one-ounce gold piece has an authorized mintage of just 99 pieces. The two-ounce silver piece has an authorized mintage of just 499. That’s it.

 

These commemoratives are gorgeous and will make standout additions to your collection. Take a look for yourself. 


1783 Nova Constellatio One-Ounce Gold Commemorative MS70 FDI Antiqued

  • What U.S. Coinage Could Have Looked Like
  • Officially Smithsonian Licensed and Approved
  • Struck in One Ounce of High-Purity 99.99% Gold
  • Replicated Antique Minting/Custom 13-Sided Planchet
  • Perfect MS70 grade by NGC
  • NGC-Certified as FDI 
  • Limited Availability

1783 Nova Constellatio Two-Ounce Silver Commemorative MS70 FDI Antiqued

  • What U.S. Coinage Could Have Looked Like
  • Officially Smithsonian Licensed and Approved
  • Struck in Two Ounces of 99.9% Fine Silver
  • Replicated Antique Minting/Custom 13-Sided Planchet
  • Perfect MS70 grade by NGC
  • NGC-Certified as FDI 
  • Limited Availability

Your best bet is to act now, immediately, ASAP, to get these for your collection! Here you have the FIRST Jody Clark coronation portrait of King Charles III wearing the St. Edwards Crown—created just for this release. These coins, in perfect condition, with sought-after designations and hand-signed labels will go fast—especially considering the tiny mintages.

 

Secure yours right now, call

888-870-6342 

©2023 ModernCoinMart.com (MCM), a brand of Asset Marketing Services, LLC. All right reserved. AMS is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not affiliated with the U.S. government. The collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. AMS MAKES NO WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS, OR PROMISES AS TO ITS PRODUCTS EXCEPT THOSE SET FORTH IN ITS TERMS AND CONDITIONS, AND NO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS ARE MADE. Prices, facts, figures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change significantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions; to decline, return your purchase pursuant to our Return Policy. © All rights reserved.