NOVA CONSTELLATIO – 2 TROY OUNCE – 39MM
The Nova Constellatio coins are the first coins struck under the authority of the United States of America. These pattern coins were struck in early 1783 in many different denominations. All known examples bear the legend “NOVA CONSTELLATIO” except the unique silver 500-Unit piece.
The Nova Constellatio patterns were the culmination of two years of work on the part of Robert Morris; the Founding Father credited with financing the Revolutionary War. Morris was unanimously elected the Nation’s first Superintendent of Finance in 1781; on February 21st of the following year, Congress passed the following resolution:
“That Congress approve of the establishment of mint; and, that the Superintendent of finance is, and at this moment is directed to prepare and report to Congress a plan for establishing and conducting the same.”
The financier’s plan, developed with his assistant, Gouverneur Morris, was ambitious: he hoped to unite the fledgling Nation with a monetary unit that would allow for easy conversion from British, Spanish, Portuguese, or State currencies to U.S. funds. More importantly, Morris’s proposal would be the first system of coinage in Western Europe or the Americas to use decimal accounting – an innovation that has been adopted by every nation on earth in last two centuries.
Due to the new government’s precarious financial situation, Congress did not put Morris’s plan into effect; however, Morris’s decimal innovation was not lost on two of the Founding Fathers who examined Morris’s pattern coins: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the primary architects of the U.S. Dollar. Both men became champions of the decimal concept after examining Morris’s coins.
- Contains: 2 oz. Troy .999 Fine Silver
- Obverse: Dentils just inside the Outer Rim, with the words “NOVA and CONSTELLATIO” separated by a flower, surrounding an eye at the center of the field with radials and star emanating.
- Reverse: Dentils just inside the Outer Rim, with the words “LIBERTAS and JUSTITIA,” and the year, 1783, separated by bullet points, surrounding a leaved wreath (hallmark below wreath) encircling the initials “U.S,” over “1000.”