US Coins

Market Analysis: Contemporary counterfeits collectible too

Contemporary counterfeits were present in Colonial America, and this 1652 Large Planchet, Pine Tree shilling, Noe 13, is created to imitate a genuine circulated and clipped Pine Tree shilling. 

Offered in the Robert M. Martin Collection of silver coins of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Nov. 15, 2019, auction in Baltimore, the coin is graded Fine Details, Damage, by Professional Coin Grading Service, due to old mark near the obverse edge at 3 o’clock. 

The cataloger observes, “the patina displays lovely olive-brown color with a touch of peach hues across the high points,” adding, “the surfaces remain otherwise smooth and glossy.” It sold for $1,320.

The coin had a provenance that included a stint in the Norweb Collection, from which this coin was sold by Bowers and Merena in October 1987, where it brought $495. 

The simplicity of the designs of the early Massachusetts coinage, combined with the diversity of dies and tree types, made these silver coins vulnerable to counterfeiters. 

Another contemporary counterfeit, a Noe 14 Pine Tree shilling graded Very Fine Details, Damage, by PCGS, was included as the next lot, where it was noted that given the shape, size, weight and workmanship, both coins were likely made by the same shop. It brought $1,320 too. 

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