John Chalmers was a gold and silversmith from Annapolis, Maryland. He had served as a captain in the Continental Army and was a member of the common council of Annapolis in 1783. Later in life, Chalmers would serve as sheriff of Baltimore. He was a successful businessman, as he was well connected with the community.

It is very probable that the primary reason for the issuance of his silver coinage was the temporary relocation of the Continental Congress to Annapolis in November of 1783. Chalmers minted coins in three denominations: threepence, sixpence and a shilling. The threepence and shilling featured, on the obverse, a wreath encircling two clasped hands shaking in friendship with the legend, "I.CHALMERS.ANNAPOLIS." The reverse shows two birds fighting over a worm while a snake lays waiting behind a hedge to attack them. This image is possibly interpreted as a warning for newly independent states not to fight among themselves. The result would be to be swallowed by the federal government as represented by the snake. The reverse legend reads: "ONE SHILLING (or THREE PENCE) 1783." The shilling was made in long worm and short worm varieties. The sixpence has an obverse similar to the shilling, but a star replaces the hands. The sixpence reverse features a cross design with the legend: "I.C. SIX PENCE 1783." It was designed by fellow silversmith and friend Thomas Sparrow, whose initials appear on the coin.

These coins circulated extensively, judging from the well-worn examples we find today. With his name on each coin, it is reasonable to assume that Chalmers was not a modest man and wished to further his reputation with the Continental Congress and the public. His coins were well made and of strong metal content of 81 percent to 86 percent silver. Chalmers' silver coins were never formally proposed to the Continental Congress. However, it is certain that Congress was aware of them.