US Coins

Final shilling is common variety;valuable features

This 1652 Oak Tree shilling has About Uncirculated Details but both sides are marred by old scratches. This example sold at a strong discount to what a problem-free example would bring, selling for $4,112.50 on March 26.

Image courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries

A highlight of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation Collection, which brought more than $9.5 million when offered at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 26 auction in Baltimore, was his collection of early Massachusetts silver coins. As John Kraljevich Jr. wrote in the introduction to the auction catalog, with many great collections like the Kendall Foundation’s coming to market recently, “Collectors have an opportunity in the present to acquire an array of Massachusetts silver coins that would have been unimaginable in most markets since the Civil War.” Here are three that caught my eye. 

The Coin 

1652 Oak Tree shilling, AU Details, Scratch

The Price 


The Story 

Collectors who are seeking an Oak Tree shilling for type purposes typically look for a few things. First, they look for good centering, and second, they want a well-defined tree on the obverse. This 1652 Oak Tree shilling graded AU Details by PCGS has both of these elements, but it also has a problem: several prominent scratches on both sides. 

It’s an example of a common variety (Noe 5, Salmon 3-D) with a sharp strike, ample remaining luster and pleasing golden color. Visually, the scratches are not as distracting as one would fear upon reading the description, and the cataloger adds, “These scratches are ancient and blend in to the color and look of the coin without significant issue.” For a collector willing to deal with these, this piece presents a lot of detail for the money.

Alternately, a different example of a moderately scarcer variety graded Very Fine 20 CAC with beautiful surfaces but a weakly defined tree brought.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

1652 Oak Tree shilling that sold for $35,250 stands out among Kendall Foundation Collection rarities

Cut 1652 shilling offers collectors value, historical perspective

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