In 1785, the small village of Rupert, Vermont became the center of coin production for northern New England. Vermont, long fought over by New Hampshire and New York, was an independent republic from 1777 up to its admission as the 14th state in 1791. As a matter of fact, Rupert was the only mint in Maine (still a part of Massachusetts in 1785), New Hampshire or Vermont!

Reuben Harmon Jr. had arrived in Vermont from Connecticut in the late 1760's. He became Rupert's representative to the Vermont legislature in 1780, and was Justice of the Peace from 1780-1790. Harmon petitioned the legislature for the right to mint copper coins in June 1785. Vermont became the first American local government to authorize and establish a mint when it awarded the contract to Harmon.

Harmon set up his mint in a small building on Millbrook Stream in northeast Rupert. He had dies made by the New York silversmith firm of Voorhis and Coley. The initial design dated 1785 into 1786 had, for the obverse, the sun rising over the Green Mountains with a plow in the foreground. The legend (with some variations) "RES PUBLICA VERMONTENSIUM" (The Republic of Vermont) surrounded the rural devices. The reverse was copied from the Constellatio Nova coppers. It depicts an image known as the Eye of Providence emanating rays, surrounded by thirteen stars. The motto "STELLA QUARTA DECIMA" (The Fourteenth Star) refers to Vermont's desire for pending statehood.

At the end of 1786, Reuben Harmon received an 8 year extension on his contract from the Vermont legislature. As part of the contract, the designs for the coppers were changed. The "Landscape" design was discontinued. The obverse now features a bust similar to that of the Connecticut coppers. The abridged motto "AUCTORI VERMON" (By the Authority of Vermont) is on either side of the bust. The reverse (also similar to Connecticut coppers) shows a seated Liberty (looking an awful lot like Britannia!), with the motto "INDE: ET: LIB:" (Independence and Liberty).

Some of the Vermont coppers were struck at the mint at Machin's Mills in New York due to the creation of a joint stock company in June 1787. Harmon would close his mint in Rupert in early 1789. The minting equipment was transferred to Machin's Mills. Reuben Harmon would remain in Rupert until 1790, when he moved to Ohio. Vermont would become the 14th State in 1790. Federal coinage would appear in 1793.

Production levels at this mint were always low. Much of the copper used to make the coins was of poor quality. The Vermont coppers received heavy circulation and are usually found in well worn condition. Obtaining a choice specimen of this coin is challenging, but possible!