The series of copper coins struck for the State of Connecticut is the most varied and complex of all colonial issues. There are over 20 bust styles, over 100 type varieties and over 300 die combinations that have survived to this day. In addition, no less than six different mints struck Connecticut coppers from 1785 to 1788. This coin was created to help alleviate the omnipresent shortage of small change in Connecticut. The coppers were intended to circulate on par with the British halfpenny. Their resemblance to the halfpenny was very intentional. Many counterfeit halfpennies flooded New England commerce, creating a potential element of fraud between merchants and customers.

The basic design of the Connecticut Coppers features, on the obverse, a bust of a man (George II facing left, George III facing right), wearing a laurel wreath and either a toga or chain mail armor. The obverse Latin legend translates to: "By the authority of Connecticut." The reverse shows what was intended to be a personification of Liberty, (actually a close copy of the British Britannia), surrounded by an abbreviated legend of: "Independence and Liberty."

Starting in late 1785, the coppers were first minted by a private firm called, "The Company for Coining Coppers" in New Haven. This company had obtained a contract from the State of Connecticut enabling them to mint coins for a 5-year period. The state got a five percent royalty in coppers every six months. A state inspection committee monitored quotas and accounting procedures. This was a good idea, because one of the principal die sinkers of the firm, Abel Buel, had been convicted in 1764 for counterfeiting Connecticut paper money! His punishment was to be branded with the letter C on his forehead. Buel also had one of his ears cropped.

In the summer of 1786, "The Company for Coining Coppers" was forced to suspend operations due to a depletion of their raw copper. On June 1, 1787, James Jarvis, who had become majority owner of "The Company...," opened up a new business called James Jarvis and Company. Jarvis owned 56.25 percent of this new company, with six other partners. This firm would commence operations minting the Fugio Cent for the federal government. Jarvis and Company, even though their legal right to coin Connecticut Coppers is unclear, produced additional varieties of this coin in 1787 and 1788. The Jarvis and Company mint probably closed in the fall of 1788. Coin minting machinery was sold to the Machin's Mills "mint" in Newburgh, New York. Some versions of the 1788 Connecticut Copper were probably made at this "mint".

A congressional inquiry regarding the production (or lack of production) of Fugio cents persuaded Jarvis and a partner to relocate to Paris, France just in time for the French Revolution!

New Haven was home to the Jarvis and Company mint and the "Company for Coining Copper" mint. The Jarvis mint may have been located in a building on Water Street that was commonly referred to as the "Copper Store." A partner lived in a house behind this location.

New Haven native Henry Meigs, in 1854, stated that the Connecticut coins were made in a building situated under the Southern Bluff, near the center of the north shore of the harbor in New Haven. As a boy, he visited the mint on many occasions and remembered some of the operators who minted the coins. There are other contempory sources that probably relate to counterfeit coin operations in New Haven in the late 1780's.

The story of the Connecticut Coppers is rich in local history. No other "state" mint has as many varieties or types as does Connecticut, due to the different companies that were involved in the process of creating coins for a market that already had several counterfeit operations "distributing" coins in Connecticut.