A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment
University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections
by Louis Jordan

Images Coordinated by
James C. Spilman and the Colonial Newsletter Foundation

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FAQ: 1776 Massachusetts Janus Head Copper

Some information on what has been called the Janus Head Massachusetts pattern is available on our web site at:


This is a unique coin, only a single original example is known. It is pictured in R.S. Yeoman's, A Guide Book to United States Coins, 51st ed. 1998 on p. 39. The last time the coin sold was in 1979 when it realized $40,000. Undoubtedly it would go for more than twice that amount today. Quite likely what you have is a modern copy of this item. There are copies of most of the early patterns. If it is a copy it has little numismatic value. Possibly $50 if it is an earlier reproduction and no more that a $1 or $2 if it is a recent copy made for the souvenir market. An example of a souvenir set offered for sale at colonial tourist sites for $3.00 is included below.

If you feel you item may be a hitherto unknown original and wish to have the coin authenticated the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) provides an authentication service. They will attribute and grade colonial coins. Their services and prices are listed on the web at:


I should mention I about two inquiries per month about the Janus Head.

Below is an example of a set offered for $3.00 at colonial tourist sites: