Rhode Island Colonial Currency $3 July 2, 1780

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  • Item Category: Coins & Currency
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jan 13,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction

State of Rhode Island

and Providence Plantations

Colonial Currency

July 2, 1780 $3 Serial Number: 1316

This is “A beautiful Rhode Island note that appears to be a superb gem note at first glance. The margins are huge and the centering perfect. Bold printing and signatures are found on well embossed surfaces. There are a couple of old corner mounts which keep it short of the penultimate grade.”

Signers: Adam Comstock, Caleb Harris (in red ink)

Size: front border design: 69 x 88.5mm; back border design: 68 x 88.5mm.

Here is a great opportunity to begin a collection in Colonial Currency, and own a piece of American history! Or, you may just need to fill in the blank to a collection already started. The price is right, there is a modest reserve and of course, no shipping cost to the lucky high bidder. Thanks for looking!

Numbering and first signature in black ink; second signature in red ink. Back bears an emblem from the Continental Currency issue of January 14, 1779 of an eagle and an heron fighting with the motto: "Exitus in dubio" (The outcome is in doubt). Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes (prominent on the front of the note). Hold it up to the light and you can see the watermark which reads: "CONFEDE / RATION" on two lines, oriented so that it reads from the front.

From Wikipedia

Early American currency went through several stages of development in the colonial and post-Revolutionary history of the United States . Because few coins were minted in the thirteen colonies that became the United States in 1776, foreign coins like the Spanish dollar were widely circulated. Colonial governments sometimes issued paper money to facilitate economic activity. The British Parliament passed Currency Acts in 1751, 1764, and 1773 that regulated colonial paper money.

During the American Revolution, the colonies became independent states; freed from British monetary regulations, they issued paper money to pay for military expenses. The Continental Congress also issued paper money during the Revolution, known as Continental currency, to fund the war effort. Both state and Continental currency depreciated rapidly, becoming practically worthless by the end of the war.

To address these and other problems, the United States Constitution, ratified in 1788, denied individual states the right to coin and print money. The First Bank of the United States , chartered in 1791, and the Coinage Act of 1792, began the era of a national American currency.

Colonial currency

There were three general types of money in the colonies of British America : commodity money, specie (coins), and paper money. Commodity money was used when cash (coins and paper money) was scarce. Commodities such as tobacco, beaver skins, and wampum served as money at various times and places.

As in Great Britain , cash in the colonies was denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence. The value varied from colony to colony; a Massachusetts pound, for example, was not equivalent to a Pennsylvania pound. All colonial pounds were of less value than the British pound sterling. The coins in circulation in the colonies were most often of Spanish and Portuguese origin. The prevalence of the Spanish dollar in the colonies led to the money of the United States being denominated in dollars rather than pounds.

One by one, colonies began to issue their own paper money to serve as a convenient medium of exchange. In 1690, the Province of Massachusetts Bay created "the first authorized paper money issued by any government in the Western World". This paper money was issued to pay for a military expedition during King William's War. Other colonies followed the example of Massachusetts Bay by issuing their own paper currency in subsequent military conflicts.

The paper bills issued by the colonies were known as "bills of credit". Bills of credit were usually fiat money; that is, they could not be exchanged for a ...

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