Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold a 1652 Willow Tree shilling with salt water damage for $28,200 on 29th March at the Whitman Baltimore Expo. The sale was impressive as the same coin was sold for $11,162.50 almost two years ago. The first U.S. coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1793. Before that, different kinds of coins like foreign coins and Colonial and Confederation issues were used. Colonial coins are not very good looking but have a good market value nevertheless. Three such colonial coins were offered at the above-mentioned auction.
The offered coin was struck with the first of three distinct tree types found among these early silver pieces. Willow Tree type was followed by Oak Tree type from 1660 to 1667 and the Pine Tree type from 1667 to 1682. Massachusetts silver coins were struck for over 30 years, but almost all of them carry the date 1652.
The offered coin was graded Fine Details, Salt Water Damage and was found in the shipwreck of the HBMS Feversham. The 32-gun British frigate sank in 1711 while it was sailing from New York City to Canada.