(circa 1670) Saint Patrick's Farthing. PCGS graded VF-20.
Chocolate brown in color with deeper brown in the recesses of the design. There is just enough crust remaining around some of the design to show that the coin has avoided over-conservation. This is one of the most mysterious issues in US numismatics. No one knows who made them, when they were made, what country they were made in, how they were made, or even exactly what denomination they were supposed to be. All we know is that in colonial New Jersey they were made legal tender in the 1680's. [Or... was the NJ legislature referring only to the larger sized versions of these coins (what we call “halfpennies” today)? Scholars are still debating this point.] They were elaborately made – with intricate, hand cut dies that seemed to wear out quickly (nearly all die varieties are Rarity-7 or Rarity-8... including this specimen), had brass splashers inserted on top of the crown in the design, and had reeded edges.