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Coin Of the Month

Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin

Vermont Coppers

Hey there, y'all!  This month, I've collected some sweet tidbits on a coin from Vermont.  The name "Vermont" is from the French "verts monts" meaning "green mountains." In January of 1777, Vermont made a very important announcement.

Vermont sure was popular during the colonial days!  Both New Hampshire and New York wanted to claim this unexplored and unsettled area.  Vermont's Ethan Allen gathered his Green Mountain Boys to fight these claims in the early 1770s.  The colonies of New Hampshire and New York were about to go to war over it—but then a greater cause needed their attention: the Revolutionary War.

Just six months after the 13 colonies declared their independence from England, Vermont declared itself an independent republic—a country, separate from the United States.  Still, the Green Mountain Boys joined with the other colonies in fighting the Revolutionary War.  This helped to earn Vermont a personal thank-you note from President George Washington.

So what makes Vermont coppers special?  They were not the first coppers made on American soil.  You know from the January 2002 Coin of the Month that a man in the Connecticut colony made copper coins way back in 1737.

One special thing about Vermont coppers is that they were made in a mint.  The government of the Republic of Vermont was the first independent government on this continent to set up its own mint.  People loved the coin's landscape design, and the coins were used even outside the state.

History tells us lots more about these coppers, the men who made them, and the problems they faced in keeping the coins flowing from their presses.  But my space is running out, so you'll just have to look the rest up for yourselves.  Bye-bye!

—Goldie

Goldie, the Mint Fish

Teacher Feature

Image of VT copper obverse
Obverse:  The first design (1785 and 1786) shows a plow and the sun rising over forested mountains. The Latin motto means "The Republic of Vermont."

Image of VT copper reverse
Reverse:  The "all-seeing eye" design with 13 rays and stars is similar to that on the "Nova Constellatio" coppers of the day. STELLA QUARTA DECIMA means "the fourteenth star." It seems Vermont had its "eye" on becoming the fourteenth state...which it did in 1791



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