Nails used as money
Hand forged iron nails were used as small change in early colonial USA. Early settlers to the English plantations needed to build a house, and nails were a key commodity and were often used as change. Abandoned houses were sometimes burned to recover nails and spikes. Do not confuse square-shaft hand-forged nails with 1800s machine-stamped �cut nails� or modern round shaft wire nails.
Source: Numiscadero Spanish to English Glossary (Gary Beals)