Before the first U.S. coins were struck for widespread circulation at
the Philadelphia Mint in 1793, a wide variety of coins circulated in
America including a mix of foreign coins and Colonial and
Confederation issues. The broad label of “Colonial issues” encompasses
multiple major types, and most people’s introduction to this area
comes through A Guide Book of United States Coins — the “Red
Book” — which lists major varieties. Specialists have gone into
exhaustive detail in each of these areas, and the coins aren’t always
pretty. Here are three that were offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries
at the Whitman Baltimore Expo that show that these historically
important issues don’t have to be attractive to be very expensive.
Here's one of three “ugly” Colonial rarities we profile in this
week’s Market Analysis:
1652 Willow Tree shilling, Fine Details, Saltwater Damage
The Willow Tree silver coins of Massachusetts were struck with the
first of three distinct tree types found among these early silver
pieces, with the Willow Tree type followed by the Oak Tree type from
1660 to 1667 and the Pine Tree type from 1667 to 1682. Though the
Massachusetts silver coins were struck over a three-decade period,
nearly all carry the date 1652.
Connect with Coin World:
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Follow us on Twitter
All Willow Tree shillings are expensive and the example offered at
Stack’s Bowers’ March 29 Baltimore Sale was graded Fine Details, Salt
Water Damage by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. It was recovered from the
shipwreck of the HBMS Feversham, a 32-gun British frigate
stationed in North American waters that went down in 1711 as it
traveled from New York City toward Canada.
SS Central America reveals thousands of new
findings, plus celebrating the ‘house organ’:
Another column in the June 19 Coin World expounds on some
intriguing half dollar varieties.
The ship’s contents provide a case study in the coins that
circulated in New York at the time, which included all three types of
Massachusetts silver issues. This coin sold for $28,200, more than
double the $11,162.50 it realized when offered as part of the Donald
Groves Partrick auction in 2015.