Understanding Money in Colonial America - well worth 8 minutes to watch!

Ocean7

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One very interesting thing this guy said was basically:
Traveling folks would carry silver spoons or wear silver buttons.
If they ran out of money, they could remove a silver button from their coat and pay for supper and have a nice stay at the inn. That's how scarce money was in those days. Gold coins were extremely valuable and rarely carried by colonial folks.
 
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Jamie Rullestad

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That is a very worthwhile message.

I‘ve been detecting around previous farmsteads on a couple of our farms, and while I’ve found some interesting items, never a coin.

It actually got me to thinking about carrying coins and money around the farm. I’ve been in and around farming all of my life, and in practical application, the things that have spent any appreciable time in my pockets (not all at once, mind you) have been pocket knives, nuts, bolts, nails, scale tickets, and bullets.

When I have been out working around the farm, I’ve been unloading grain, fencing, picking up rocks, working on equipment, or hunting. I just didn’t have any need for money.

As far as finding any older coins, it just occurred to me last night that a silver dollar in 1935 would be the equivalent of about $20 today. Anyone as tight fisted as a farmer would never (or rarely) lose that kind of money casually. Everything would go full stop until it was found.
 

GDub62

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Feb 2, 2022
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One very interesting thing this guy said was basically:
Traveling folks would carry silver spoons or wear silver buttons.
If they ran out of money, they could remove a silver button from their coat and pay for supper and have a nice stay at the inn. That's how scarce money was in those days. Gold coins were extremely valuable and rarely carried by colonial folks.
That was interesting...but I would have failed Colonial Economics class
 
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Ocean7

Ocean7

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Apr 15, 2004
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That is a very worthwhile message.

I‘ve been detecting around previous farmsteads on a couple of our farms, and while I’ve found some interesting items, never a coin.

It actually got me to thinking about carrying coins and money around the farm. I’ve been in and around farming all of my life, and in practical application, the things that have spent any appreciable time in my pockets (not all at once, mind you) have been pocket knives, nuts, bolts, nails, scale tickets, and bullets.

When I have been out working around the farm, I’ve been unloading grain, fencing, picking up rocks, working on equipment, or hunting. I just didn’t have any need for money.

As far as finding any older coins, it just occurred to me last night that a silver dollar in 1935 would be the equivalent of about $20 today. Anyone as tight fisted as a farmer would never (or rarely) lose that kind of money casually. Everything would go full stop until it was found.
yeah imagine what a gold coin would be worth. You'd spend all week looking for that. L I've hunted +200 year old colonial farmsteads and not found a single old coin. No coppers, no silver coins, and certainly no gold coins. But if the people were very wealthy - lots of large coppers and some nice silver coins.
 

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