US Coins

Boston time capsule containing Pine Tree shilling gets X-ray

The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office believes about a dozen coins are likely inside the time capsule discovered at the Massachusetts State House Thursday, including one from the 17th century, the Boston Globe reports.

State records of the time capsule’s contents account for a 1652-dated silver Pine Tree shilling, as well as other coins from the 18th and 19th century. 

UPDATE: Here are 12 photos from opening of the Boston time capsule

The time capsule was hidden inside a granite block at the State House in 1795 by Gov. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and William Scollay, the Globe reports. It was discovered and added to during renovations in 1855 before being put back in place.

The time capsule resurfaced last week during a water infiltration investigation.

RELATED: Time capsule from era of Paul Revere, Sam Adams discovered in Boston, leaks coins

Meghan Kelly, deputy communications director at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, said the container, a copper box, was given an X-ray on Sunday. 

“They are in the process of analyzing that X-ray now,” Kelly said Monday afternoon. 

Read the full Boston Globe report here. 

READ: Here are some of the best tweets about the Boston time capsule

The date on the Pine Tree shilling does not actually give us its exact age. It’s very likely a bit younger. 

While all Pine Tree shillings are dated 1652, the first year Massachusetts silver coinage was authorized according to Whitman's A Guide Book of United States Coins 2015the series was actually struck between 1667 and 1682. 

The Pine Tree coinage was the last of the three "Tree" coinage issues of Massachusetts, all of which followed the brief New England or NE silver coinage of 1652. The featureless and undated NE coinage of 1652 was replaced first by the Willow Tree coinage, issued from 1653 to 1660 and all dated 1652; then by the Oak Tree coinage of 1660 to 1667, featuring 1662-dated twopence and 1652-dated threepence, sixpence and shillings; and finally by the Pine Tree coinage.

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