The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 45, November 10, 2019, Article 3


Roger Moore has written a new book on the coins of colonial Virginia, published by the Colonial Coins Collectors Club. Congratulations! -Editor

Coins of Virginia book cover The Coins of Colonial Virginia by Roger A. Moore MD, will fill a void in our understanding of both the 1773 copper halfpence of Virginia and the methods the Virginia colonists used to cope with the scarcity of small change during the first 150 years of their existence. The growth and development of Virginia into one of the most important North American colonies can be traced by the economic evolution of the Old Dominion State, as it attempted to gain the necessary hard currency needed for commerce.

Equally as absorbing are the twists and turns encountered by the Virginia colonists as they sought and finally obtained authorization from the English Crown for their own coinage. It is ironic that the long desired copper Virginia halfpence of 1773, provided under Warrant from King George III, became available to the colonists only fifty days before the beginning of the American Revolution.

Specifics concerning how the copper for minting the coins was obtained based on contemporary letters from the procurer, the making of the matrixes, punches, and dies by the Tower mint engravers based on preserved minting tools and records at the Royal Mint Museum, and the processes for minting and for determining the quality evaluation of the minting based on documents in the British National Archives are all provided in detail.

Obverse Matrix of the Virginia halfpence In spite of considerable time spent on the history of Virginia's early development, the primary aim of the book is an in-depth exploration of the 1773 Virginia halfpence as collectable coins. The Coins of Colonial Virginia provides thorough guides which allow the collector to attribute and differentiate each halfpenny variety. This is no small task since attributing this series of colonial coins has notoriously been described as one of the most difficult numismatic tasks. Much attention has been directed at methods for facilitating the identification process. Large high quality, color, photographic images of each obverse and reverse are provided with details of existing die states.

Another very comprehensive chapter uses photographs which show the myriad of Virginia halfpence fakes, facsimiles and fantasies. The author points out that eBay buyers are fooled by these fakes almost weekly. Other chapters deal with the metrology, the oddities, the rarity, and the grading of Virginia halfpence. Finally, the book is well written and indexed, while having an extensive bibliography for those wishing to further their knowledge about this colonial coinage.

The Coins of Colonial Virginia contains something for anyone interested in knowing how a long sought after colonial coinage finally came into being; how it was distributed and circulated; and most importantly how it can be collected in modern times. It is also a most enjoyable and educational read for all history enthusiasts.

The Coins of Colonial Virginia is a 318 page hardcover book with a dust cover and extensive color photographs. Its publication was supported by the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. With an ISBN: #978-1-64606-131-0, the book sells for $95. It is available directly from numismatic literature dealer Charles Davis, Telephone: (978) 468–2933, E-mail:

Coins of Virginia sample pages

About the Author
Roger Moore ROGER ADDISON MOORE began his interests in numismatics at the age of five when he received a partially filled Whitman Lincoln Penny board from his grandfather. By nine he was exchanging twenty dollars in rolled coins from his bank each Friday and going through them to improve and expand his collection, which eventually spanned all federal coinages.

In his 40's he developed an interest in colonial coins, with his first variety being a New Jersey State copper. His collecting then expanded to Virginia halfpence, Saint Patrick halfpence and farthings, Mexican copper maravedis from the 1500s, various colonial currencies, British and Irish farthings and halfpence from the 1700s, colonial numismatic literature, and continues to grow into multiple other diverse numismatic areas.

He is a life member of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club in which he served as a past Treasurer. He is a member of the American Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Society. He has written over 70 numismatic papers on a wide range of subjects and has previously contributed to and edited four numismatic books.

Roger was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, into a Navy family. The family moved every few years and therefore he was exposed to many new cities and states. He matriculated at Yale University for his undergraduate education, went on to the University of Virginia for medical school, had an internship and residence in pediatrics at the University of Colorado, a residency in anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in pediatric anesthesia and intensive care at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has served as president of the New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He presently serves as a Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jonni Lou is his wife of 43 years. Ashley, Sam, James, Julie and his grandchildren, Sammy and Josie round out his family.

For more information, or to order, see:
Moore: The Coins of Colonial Virginia (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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