Colonial Money: How it evolved, fought, conquered – and was counterfeited

Award-winning numismatist Philip I. Mossman will present a program on “The Money of Colonial Virginia” 7 p.m. February 13 and 20 at the R. R. Smith Center in Staunton.  The presentations are part of the popular Stuart Talk series presented by the Augusta County Historical Society.

money-newlinksBoth programs will be presented in the Smith Center’s second floor lecture room and are free for ACHS members.  Non-member admission is $5 adult, $1 for students .

The February 13 program will describe the development of colonial monetary systems, and how colonial monies prospered despite great pressure against them from England.  Mossman notes, “The deck was always stacked in favor of the mother country.”  He will discuss the use of Virginia tobacco as a money equivalent, as well as the specific colonial coins actually put into circulation.

The second program, February 20, will focus on colonial paper currency, its development, varieties, benefits and inherent problems.

Dr. Mossman has been fascinated by numismatics since the seventh grade.  When he found there was no contemporary, comprehensive reference material on the currency of early Virginia, he began to gather and correlate material on the money of the period.  In 1993 he published Money of the American Colonies and Confederation: A Numismatic Economic and Historical Correlation. The award-winning book was published by the American Numismatic Society.

Last year Dr. Mossman published a second book on early U.S. money, From Crime to Punishment: Counterfeit and Debased Currencies in Colonial and Pre-Federal America.

Dr. Mossman’s work has been recognized with the Huntington Medal Award, the top career achievement Award presented by the American Numismatic Society.

The ACHS was founded in 1964 to study, collect, preserve, publish, educate about, and promote the history of Augusta County and its communities. The society is marking its 50th year in 2014 with special events and presentations.  More information is available online at

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