The St. Patrick Copper Coinage of New Jersey
These coins were most likely struck sometime between the mid-1640s and early 1660s, though – like their dates of production – where they were minted is shrouded in academic uncertainty; some sources say they were struck at the Tower of London, while other sources point to origins in Ireland. They were brought America by an English Quaker named Mark Newby, who was a merchant in Dublin.
As was typical of the time, copper issues from abroad comingled with a diversity of other coins as money in the colonies, and the General Assembly of New Jersey granted the St. Patrick Coppers in May 1682 legal-tender status to the value of a halfpenny. The quagmire numismatists face today is in deciphering which of the two coins was meant to be the legal-tender piece.
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