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Rosa Americana Coinage – 1722 – 1733

Learn About Rosa Americana Bath Metal Coinage 1722 – 1733

William Wood was the owner of numerous copper and tin mines in Great Britain. He sought and obtained a patent and then permission to strike coinage for use in the British colonies in America and also for use in Ireland. He had hoped to make a profit using the metal in his mines by striking these coins.  He first was permitted to strike coins for Ireland in 1722.

He then sought and received permission to strike one hundred tons of coins for the American colonies to be struck over a period of fourteen years. The coins would be struck from what is called Bath Metal – 75% Brass, 20% Zinc and 5% Silver.

Wood struck Halfpenny, Penny and Two Pence coins, the first Two Pence was undated, and the remainder of the coins he struck were dated 1722, 1723 or 1724.

(Undated Rosa Americana Two Pence, Motto in Ribbon on Reverse. Obverse [left] – Reverse [right].)
(Undated Rosa Americana Two Pence. Motto without Ribbon. Obverse [left] – Reverse [right].)

These Rosa Americana coins were simplistic in design. The obverse depicts King George I, facing right, with the Tudor Rose on the reverse. The obverse legend was the King’s name and title while the reverse legend had various forms of “ROSA AMERICANA” and “UTILE DULCI” which translates to “THE USEFUL WITH THE AGREEABLE.”

The next coins Wood struck were 1722 dated Half Pennies, of which there are several varieties.

(1722 –dated Half Penny. Three Major Varieties exist. Obverse [left] – Reverse [right].)

Those coins were followed by 1722-dated Pennies of which the mintage is fairly high as the coins in lower grade are fairly common.

(1722-dated Penny. Three major varieties exist. Obverse [left], Reverse [right].)
(1722-datd Two Pence, Period and No Period Varieties exist. Obverse {left] – Reverse [right].)

The same three denominations – Half Penny, Penny, and Two Pence were struck again in 1723 and the Half Penny has two major die varieties while the Penny and Two Pence were each struck with one set of dies.

The year 1724 saw no coins for circulation but Penny and Two Pence coins were struck as patterns during that year. The coinage to be used in the Americas was likely all struck in Bristol. His Irish coinage would have all been struck in London.

Wood’s coinage was plentiful but not well-received and so after striking coinage in 1722 and 1723, the presses stopped in 1724 except for the few specimens of pattern coinage he struck.

The early Rosa Americana coins are the very rare undated prototypes with a large, for the size of the coin planchet, Tudor rose on the reverse. All three of the 1722-dated denominations depict a large Tudor rose on the obverse while the 1723 issues have a crowned rose. The issue is known as the “Rosa Americana” coinage, which is Latin for “American Rose.”

This obverse of these coins depict a laureate portrait of King George I of Great Britain who is facing to the right.

DateTypeMintageVG ValueAU Value
Undated (1722)Two Pence, Motto in RibbonUnknown$250$2,750
Undated (1722)Two Pence, Motto, No Ribbon3RareRare
1722Half PennyUnknown$1,000$12,000
1722Half Penny D. G. REX. ROSA AMERIUnknown$150$1,250
DateTypeMintageVG ValueAU Value
1722Half Penny DEI GRATIA REXUnknown$175$1,300
1722Penny GEORGIVSUnknown$3,000$22,500
1722Penny VTILE DVLCIUnknown$200$2,500
1722Penny UTILE DULCIUnknown$175$1,250
1722Two Pence Period after REXUnknown$150$1,300
1722Two Pence No Period After REXUnknown$200$1,900
1723Half Penny, Uncrowned RoseUnknown$1,200$10,000
1723Half Penny Crowned RoseUnknown$150$1,250
1723Two PenceUnknown$100$800
1724Pattern Penny DEI GRATIAUnknown$10,000$25,000
1724Pattern Penny  D. GRATIAUnknown$5,000$22,000
Undated (1724)Pattern Penny ROSA; SINE: SPINA5$12,000$26,000
1724Two Pence PatternUnknown$20,000$30,000
1733Two Pence PatternUnknown$50,000$75,000

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