To the inhabitants of the old world, the birth of a new nation from across the Atlantic must have seemed like the positioning of a "new constellation" in the heavens. As the Articles of Confederation joined the former 13 colonies into a loose organization of states, a need arose for a unified national coinage. Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance for the Confederation, set out to create such a set of coinage. Several pattern coins were struck but not put into production. More successful, were the copper coins bearing the dates 1783 and 1785 that circulated extensively in America up to the dawn of the 19th Century.

These copper coins, weighing closely to that of the British halfpenny, were produced by the firm of William Constable & Company. They operated a "House of Commerce" on Great Dock Street (now Pearl Street) in New York City. The obverse of each coin featured an eye, (perhaps inspired by the Masonic Eye of Providence), with emanating rays surrounded by a circular constellation of 13 stars. The legend in Latin, "CONSTELLATIO NOVA" or "NOVA CONSTELLATIO" surrounds the device. The reverse features a wreath around the initials "U.S.". Surrounding the wreath is the legend,"LIBERTAS JUSTITIA" (Liberty Justice) and the date.

These important transitional coppers, while not adopted later by Congress, ushered in and influenced a new series of state minted coins. Coppers from the Republic of Vermont adopted some of the devices from the Constellatio Nova coins. Other states issued their own individual coinage. This would continue until the establishment of the Philadelphia Mint in 1793.