Virtual Tour

Early Money in America

See the first money in America, coins that circulated, and paper money of the original 13 colonies and the Continental Congress.

Shown from left to right are Native American wampum, the first government-authorized paper money (issued in 1690 by Massachusetts), a five shilling Connecticut paper note from 1785, and a 'piece of eight' silver coin from 1809.

Shown above, from left to right, are Native American wampum, the first government-authorized paper money (issued in 1690 by Massachusetts), a five shilling Connecticut paper note from 1785, and a "piece of eight" silver coin from 1809.

Additional highlights of our currency collection can be viewed in our Treasure Trove.