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Colonial Coins by Type | U.S. Coins by Denomination 
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Obverse of 1787 Fugio Cent - Newman 13-X     Reverse of 1787 Fugio Cent - Newman 13-X

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

  
1787 FUGIO CENTS

These coins have been known by various names, as “Franklin,” “Sun Dial,” “Ring,” and “Mind your business” cents, as well as by the name at the head of this chapter.  Another name is proposed for them by Mr. Bushnell in the annexed paragraph:

'This coin was issued by authority of Congress in 1787.  It is generally known as the Franklin cent, but should properly called the Rittenhouse Cent, if named after any individual...It was first coined in the city of New York.  A number of sets of dies were made, and the piece was subsequently coined not merely in New York, but also New Haven, Connecticut, Rupert, Vermont, and other places.  The dies were made by Abel Buel, of New Haven, and the coins were struck by means of a drop press.”  More
   -- Reprinted from "The Early Coins of America" by Sylvester S. Crosby

   
TYPES AND VARIETIES OF FUGIO CENTS
(25 obverses and 35 reverses)

I. POINTED RAYS ON OBVERSE
   
A. Cross after Date (no five-leaved Ornaments on Obverse)
       1. AMERICAN CONGRESS on Reverse
           Newman 1-CC
       2. Raised Rims on Label on Reverse
           Newman 1-Z (1-Z.1 in Kessler)
       3. STATES at left, UNITED at right on Reverse
           Newman 1-L
       4. UNITED at left, STATES at right on Reverse
           Newman 1-B

    B. Five-leaved Ornaments on Obverse
       1. STATES at left, UNITED at right on Reverse
           a. Five-leaved Ornaments on Reverse Label
               i. Normal Date
                  Newman 6-W (6-W.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 7-T
                  Newman 8-X
                  Newman 9-P
                  Newman 9-Q
                  Newman 9-S (9-S.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 9-T
                  Newman 11-X
                  Newman 12-KK (12-K.2 in Kessler)
                  Newman 12-LL (12-N.2 in Kessler)
                  Newman 12-M
                  Newman 12-S (12-S.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 12-U 
                  Newman 12-X
                  Newman 13-KK (13-K.2 in Kessler)
                  Newman 13-N (13-N.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 13-R
                  Newman 13-X - Very Common
                  Newman 14-O 
                  Newman 14-X
                  Newman 15-K (15-K.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 15-V
                  Newman 16-N (16-N.1 in Kessler)
                  Newman 17-S (17-S.1 in Kessler) 
                  Newman 17-T (Rumored to exist in a New York collection (ST))
                  Newman 17-WW (17-W.2 in Kessler)
                  Newman 18-U
                  Newman 18-X
                  Newman 19-M
                  Newman 19-SS (19-S.2 in Kessler)
                  Newman 20-R
                  Newman 20-X
                  Newman 22-M
               ii. 1 over horizontal 1
                  Newman 10-T
                  Newman 10-OO (is this the right place for this)
           b. Five-pointed Stars on Reverse Label
               Newman 15-Y  
           c. Raised Rims on Label on Reverse
               Newman 12-Z (12-Z.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 19-Z (19-Z.1 in Kessler)
       2. UNITED at left, STATES at right on Reverse
           a. Normal Date
               Newman 8-B
               Newman 11-B
               Newman 14-H (14-H.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 15-H (15-H.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 16-H (16-H.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 17-I
               Newman 17-H (17-H.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 18-H (18-H.1 in Kessler)
               Newman 21-I
           b. 1 over horizontal 1
               Newman 10-G
       3. UNITED at top on Reverse
           Newman 11-A

II. CLUB RAYS ON OBVERSE
     
A. Rounded ends
         Newman 3-D
         Newman 4-E
     B. Concave ends
          
1. FUCIO (mis-spelled with a C)
            Newman 2-C 
            Newman 23-ZZ (23-Z.2 in Kessler)
         2. FUGIO
            a. UNITED at left, STATES at right on Reverse
                Newman 5-F 
                Newman 5-HH (5-H.2 in Kessler) 
                Newman 25-PP (not listed in Newman or Kessler)
            b. STATES at left, UNITED at right on Reverse
                Newman 24-MM (not listed in Newman or Kessler)
                

RESTRIKES AND FANTASY PIECES

Newman 101-AA 
   Copper 
   Gold? 
   Silver? 
   White Metal 
Newman 101-BB
   Copper
   Brass
   Silver
   Gold 
Newman 101-EE 
   Copper 
   Brass 
   Silver
Newman 102-GG
   Gold
Newman 103-EE
   Copper 
   Brass 
   Silver 
   Gold 
Newman 104-FF (so-called "New Haven" Restrikes)
   Red Copper
   Yellow Copper
   Brass
   Silver 
   Gold 
Newman 105-JJ
   Silver

Obverse 105 is in the American Numismatic Society collection
Obverse 106 (never used to strike coins) is in the Mattatuck Historical Society collection
Obverse 107 (never used to strike coins) is in the Yale University collection

Reverse JJ is in the American Numismatic Society collection
Reverse UU (never used to strike coins) is in the American Numismatic Society collection

In 1953, E.J. Theisen of East Orange, New Jersey struck and sold a "Fugio Confidence Token", the obverse of which mimicked the Fugio Cent and the reverse of which contained the multi-line legend "THE FOUNDERS' ISOLATIONISM DEVELOPED U.S. FOR IT IS A BASIC LAW OF LIFE."  For 15 Cents, the buyer received a Confidence Token and a brochure entitled "Our Founders' Panacea for National Troubles, as depicted on the face of the Fugio Cent, 1787".  500 or more pieces cost 12˝ Cents apiece.  Gold and Silver pieces were also available, priced upon request.  Theisen was also a collector of the real Fugio Cents!

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen (purchase a copy by clicking on the title)

"The Fugio Cents" by Alan Kessler (out-of-print)

The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, February 20, 1953, page 142

Relevant collector organizations:
Colonial Coin Collectors Club

 
 

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