A New England Shilling Finds its Way to the Boston Store

Many tourists travel from all over the world to visit Boston, Massachusetts, a city that is known as the birthplace and cradle of the American Revolution. For numismatists, the city of Boston is also where, in 1652, the Massachusetts Bay Colony authorized the first metallic currency to be struck in the colonies. Joseph Jenks made the dies for the first colonial coinage at his ironwork mill in Saugus, Massachusetts and the shillings, sixpence, and threepence were minted by John Hull in Boston. The colonial silver coinage contained 22.5% less silver than the coins minted in England.

This week a collector in the Greater Boston area consigned a Salmon 1-B New England shilling certified VF-35 by NGC to our August 2024 auction, bringing it into our Boston Gallery. It was very exciting to handle such a beautiful specimen minted more than 350 years ago not far from our downtown location.

New England silver coinage caused quite a stir in the 17th century, as the Crown objected to the colonists usurping royal prerogative to coin money. While the New England shillings may look like unassuming, rather plain coins, surviving examples are highly sought after and this one is quite fascinating.

The coin’s first recorded appearance at auction was in an 1885 S.H. Chapman sale, and it spent time in the Judd, Stack, and Chris Salmon collections. Its reverse was struck with a punch in an early state of wear; the three letters of the denomination are crisp and well-defined. Later die states show a rectangular break along the top-left part of the “X” in “XII”. This coin’s color and clear devices presents a great eye appeal.

This is just one of the many exciting items to be sold in our upcoming August 2024 Showcase Auction. The entire sale will be available for viewing and bidding at in July. As always, our team of numismatists in Boston are ready to help you find the rare coins you are looking for or to help you decide the best way to sell your collection or individual pieces. For numismatic inquiries or to make an appointment to meet with one of our experts please call 617-843-8343 or email [email protected]. We hope to see you soon.

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