New Coins of the U.S. Realm

When the Coinage Act of 1792 was passed, national currencies were backed by bullion. To collect enough gold and silver to support a national monetary system, citizens of the U.S. were encouraged to sell their gold and silver bullion to the Federal government without penalty or tax. Shortly after this Coinage Act was passed, Congress authorized a bulk purchase of copper (An Act to Provide for a Copper Coinage passed on May 8th, 1792), “not to exceed 150 tons” to be used in the new currency.

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