The History of Confederate Coins: Part 1

Posted by Derek Sawchenko on

 1861 was a dark year for the United States. This was the year that many states seceded from the Union to create the Confederate States of America.  Although this Civil War era was not the brightest part of the United States’ rich history, there were certain artifacts left behind that help people connect to this time. As you may have expected from the title of this post, coins and money are a huge part of history and can serve as our connection to a certain time, in this case, Confederate America.  
     The Confederates printed a lot of paper money in the time that they existed, but true Confederate coins were few and far between.  The issue with making coins within the Confederation was due to the fact that there were only five mints at the time, the two newest remaining a part of the Union. The only large mint in the south was in New Orleans, Louisiana. When Louisiana seceded from the union, it still continued to print coins, but these coins were still struck with the original dies that said, “United States of America.”
     Soon it was decided that as its own separate nation, the Confederate States should create its own money, and its own coinage. The decision was made to mint Confederate silver half dollars. It was considered widely known that Lady Liberty was none other than a southern bell, so no new die would have to be created for the obverse of the coin, but a new die would be necessary for the reverse side of the coin.  
     The Confederation struck four coins total with these dies and they were then given out to four individuals within the Confederate States. The thought was that they would examine the coins to decide if they were good enough to be struck for circulation. This decision had never been made due to the fall of New Orleans, when the Confederation lost control of the mint.  Due to this loss of control, no further silver half dollars were struck.
     You may be thinking that the loss of this mint was the end all for coin production for the Confederation but, where there’s a will, there’s a way…

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