N England Shilling MS (PCGS# 13)

2010 August Boston, MA Signature & Platinum Night ANA Coin Auction #1143

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
(1652) SHILNG New England Shilling AU50 PCGS. CAC. Noe III-C, R.6. Ex: Dwight N. Manley. 72.07 grains. The rarity and significance of the New England shilling can hardly be overstated. The NE pieces claim the title of first coins struck in British America. Few collections, including some of the most advanced cabinets of Colonial coins, have possessed a representative of the New England shilling, let alone an example that has the quality of the present coin. It is fitting that this piece is auctioned in Boston, where it was minted more than 350 years ago. The New England shillings were struck from three obverse and four reverse dies, which were combined to form six different die marriages. Noe III-C is identified by a diagonal die break southeast from the E on the obverse, and the thickness of the second I in the XII punch is diagnostic for the reverse. Michael Hodder (2005) estimates that he has seen fewer than 20 examples of this variety. In fact, the Noe III-C was absent from some of the most important collections of Colonial coins, including those of C. H. Stearns, John Work Garrett, Richard Picker, and Herbert M. Oechsner. This About Uncirculated specimen ranks among the finest certified at both PCGS and NGC, with only three examples reported in higher grades (6/10). Massachusetts struck silver coins for three decades, beginning with the NE coins, in open defiance of British authorities. Edmund Randolph, the crown's customs collector in Boston, wrote to London in 1676 that: {blockquote}"As a marke of soveraignty, they coin mony [sic] ... All the money is stamped with these figures, 1652, that being the era of the common-wealth, wherein they erected themselves into a free state, enlarged their dominions, subjected the adjacent colonies under their obedience, and summoned deputies to sit in their general court; which year is still commemorated on their coins."{/blockquote} Randolph was likely unfamiliar with the NE coins, which were struck in relatively small quan
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