According to researcher David McCarthy of Kagin’s, Inc., there is overwhelming evidence that this is the very first coin ever officially struck by authority of the United States government, a finding hailed by renowned coin expert and author Jeff Garrett as “one of the most exciting developments in modern numismatics.”
The coin is known as the “Plain Obverse Nova Constellatio Quint.” It was once in the hands of one of the USA’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and it is the historic ancestor of the dollar as well as every coin in the Western world using a decimal monetary system, according to McCarthy.
“Although the coin was discovered in 1870, it was misattributed. We now have compelling evidence that it is, ‘the first that has been struck as an American coin,’ as described in the April 2, 1783 diary entry of Founding Father Robert Morris, the government’s first Superintendent of Finance and a signer of the Declaration of Independence,” stated McCarthy.
“The Quint and a subsequent set of coins were created in Philadelphia in April of 1783 under authority of the Treasury some nine years before the next coins would be struck by the U.S. government. It would have been valued at 500-units in a proposed system that would range from 5 to 1,000 units,” McCarthy explained.
During the 18th Century, several states and private individuals manufactured coins, but this is the first coin that was struck and paid for by the U.S. government, according to McCarthy’s research, which more than a dozen other early American coin experts support.
Following the Civil War, the coin surfaced in New York City, and passed through the hands of some of the 19th Century’s greatest collectors before entering the possession of Johns Hopkins University, where it resided until 1979.
Kagin’s acquired the coin at an auction in 2013. McCarthy began researching it through the Journals of Continental Congress, the writings of Founding Fathers Robert Morris and Thomas Jefferson, and forensic evidence found on the coins themselves, identifying it as the coin referred to by Morris, the Nation’s first Superintendent of Finance as, “the first that has been struck as an American coin.”