Trader's Currency Token of the Colony of Connecticut
A trader's currency token was issued by Samuel Higley of Simsbury, Connecticut in 1737. Higley owned the mine which produced the copper, which was located near Granby, Connecticut. He smelted the copper ore, designed and engraved the dies, and struck the tokens himself. They wore out extremely easily, due to the purity of the copper. These tokens are of historic interest to collectors of British Empire and Commonwealth coins, and are also of interest to collectors of US coins. They are extremely rare.
There are three different versions. On all, there is a deer, and some wording. Earliest versions said 'THE VALUE OF THREE PENSE' The second version was inscription 'VALUE ME AS YOU PLEASE'.
The reason for this is that so many coins were put into circulation that the "three pence" local value was deflated, and area merchants complained. So, Dr. Higley re-valued the coin, leaving it up to the local economy to set its own value.
There was one version that said 'THE WHEELE GOES ROUND'.
The first coins minted had the word 'Connecticut' appearing on them. Later versions were inscribed 'I AM GOOD COPPER'. Even later strikes were worded 'J CUT MY WAY THROUGH'.
- The Guidebook & Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1649.1971 3rd Edition by Jerome Remick, Somer James, Anthony Dowle, and Patrick Finn.
- A Guide Book of United States Coins 53rd edition by R. S. Yeoman and edited by Kenneth Bressett. (2000)
- Higley Coppers 1737, 1739, University of Notre Dame (with photos)