Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Bermuda Copper of 1793 - Introduction


Just like prison, you used to be able to barter with tobacco in Bermuda, due to the lack of currency.  

Following the brief episode with "Hogge money" in 1615-1616 (see the Sommer Island section), Bermuda returned to the barter system with tobacco serving as the standard currency. During the 18th century, the tobacco standard was supplemented with Spanish silver and gold, and after 1761 some paper certificates were issued.

The Bermuda Copper of 1793 - Introduction

Hogge money were coins with a hog on the front and a sailboat on the back.  Later,  a low-grade, brassy copper coin was introduced, with a wash of silver that didn't mix with the salty climate and wore off.  This reminds me of the red wash on some of the new quarters here in Canada.

What's so important about the first coins made in Bermuda?  They were destined to go to the Americas, to be used as the first British coins for the New World.

No comments: