Pine Tree Shilling, PCGS
MS62 Secure, CAC Click on Coin Image to
Pine Tree Shilling, PCGS
MS62 Secure, CAC - $39,500.
Planchet, N Reversed. Only 1 higher at PCGS. All Pine
Tree coinage is rare. In their population reports,
both major grading services show that all No Pellets
at Trunk Large Planchet shillings are rare in all
Mint State condition, Large Planchet Pine Tree shillings
are exceptionally rare. Top this important early American
rarity off with a CAC approval sticker and this is
an incredible acquisition for the investor or advanced
collector specializing in early American Colonial
Please contact me by email
or telephone 1-800-624-1870
to reserve this great coin.
This Mint State, Large Planchet 1652
Pine Tree Shilling comes in a Secure PCGS holder.
The Secure designation attests to the coin’s
authenticity and originality. The CAC sticker indicates
that the coin is a premium quality piece that fully
deserves the assigned grade. The coin is a light,
silvery gray in color with touches of gold, light
lilac, rose, and green, further confirming the coin’s
originality. The surfaces are hard and glossy with
minimal abrasion marks, as expected for a Mint State
piece. The coin, which was struck on a large planchet,
was clipped and weighs 4.699 grams. It was well struck
for the issue with all the inscriptions completely
legible and a nearly complete center circle of beads
on both sides. The design is perfectly centered on
both sides, and only part of some letters and some
of the border beads are missing because of the clips.
The obverse of the coin shows a tree
centered within a circle of beads. It is surrounded
by the inscription MASATHVSETS followed by IN. The
reverse shows the date, 1652, and the denomination,
XII, encircled by beads. The surrounding inscription
is NEW ENGLAND. AN. DOM. An outer circle of beads
is at the edge of the periphery.
The Pine Tree coins were originally
called “Boston” or “Bay Shillings.”
Many varieties exist because the period of production
was extended from 1662 to 1682. During this time the
handmade dies wore out or broke easily, requiring
constant replacement. There were two types of Pine
Tree issues the large and small. Minted in quantity,
the Large Shillings include AN DOM in the reverse
legend. The Small Shillings use AN DO instead.
In order to keep money in the colony,
a law was passed in 1654 prohibiting exportation of
more than twenty shillings upon penalty of total forfeiture.
This law was needed because Massachusetts colonists
traded with people of other colonies, and the coinage
was constantly being depleted.
The coins were all dated 1652, during
the time that the Puritans took power from the English
Royalists and created the Commonwealth of England,
which was established in 1649. Oliver Cromwell defeated
the Royalist coalition and ruled as Lord Protector
of England from 1653 to 1658. He left the American
colonies for the most part to their own affairs, only
intervening when his fellow Puritans tried to usurp
control of the Maryland Colony.
During this time, the colonists were
free to coin their own money. The monarchy was restored
in 1660, but the colony continued to mint coins, an
act of treason. To ameliorate this situation, Massachusetts
Puritans sent King Charles II presents, one of which
was a shipload of masts for the Royal Navy. Even using
the 1652 date could not hide evidence of coinage in
the colonies after the Restoration.
Political gifts were given from time
to time to the King and to the Massachusetts government
by the mint masters and by the Court to the King.
For example in 1667 the mint masters paid the public
treasury forty pounds and ten pounds for the next
seven years, and in 1677: “It is ordered that
the Treasurere doe forthwith prouide ten barrels of
Cranburyes, two hogsheads of speciall Good Sampe,
and three thousand of Cod fish, to be sent to our
messengers, by them to be presented to his Majesty
as a present from this Court.”
Many Pine Tree coins show teeth marks
and evidence of bending, souvenirs of the Salem witchcraft
problems of 1692. A bent coin would ward off witches’
spells. The smaller shillings were not bent as often
as the large ones because they were made from thicker
flans and could not be bent easily. However, they
were often counterfeited, shaved, and clipped.
In 1684, King James II revoked the
charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A police
state was established in the province. Later a new
governor was sent by the authorities to restore the
conditions that existed prior to 1652. Sir Edmond
Andros was the individual sent by the King. He went
to Hartford, Connecticut and tried to seize the colony’s
charter, but it was hidden in a tree. It became known
as the Charter Oak, which is pictured on the Connecticut
State Quarter of 1999. When James II was ousted, Andros
was shipped back to England.
Although the Pine Tree Shillings were
replaced by paper currency that became severely devalued,
the Pine Tree coinage remained the preferred means
of exchange along with Mexican dollars.
The coins of Massachusetts show the
beginning of a tradition of opposition to interference
by England in internal affairs of the colonies. They
represent the first step towards the Boston Tea Party,
the Sons of Liberty, and the Revolution that would