coins are history's Blog

18 Aug 2020

Colonial coins of america. Part 3.

| coins are history

The year is 1668. Mr. Francis Lovelace is elected governor of New York. These coins were probably made in England. (Though we are not 100% sure) We also do not have an exact date for the production of this token because it's dateless. We do now however in 1673 there was a law passed that prohibited the use of private tokens. The reverse on this coin has the words "New Yorke in America" on it. This was the how people spelled New York before the early eighteenth century. There is also a very skinny eagle that is in the center of the reverse part of the coin. The obverse shows a tree with Cupid on one side and the Goddess Psyche, with what some think is a butterfly on her back. She is suppose to symbolize the soul. These coins come in two different compositions, copper and lead with the lead piece being rarer. However even the copper piece in general is extremely rare with about 20 pieces known, this token is placed in the book 100 greatest American Medals and Tokens. One very interesting fact about this token is that it was a pattern piece. Pattern piece in the seventeenth century were not like pattern pieces now. They would circulate and if they did well in circulation be produced in more quantity. All of these pieces show sign of circulation however there is no chance these pieces entered circulation in quantity. Numismatists today believe that this token has a face value of one farthing or four to one penny. All in all, this coin is extremely rare having sold on February 22, 2013 for 90,000 US dollars in Extremely Fine condition.

16 Aug 2020

Colonial coins of america. Part 2.

| coins are history

The year is 1659. The second Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert orders coinage for his colony to be struck in England. This is do to the much agricultural success and the drought of money in the colony. The four pence or groat, the six pence and the shilling or twelve pence piece were made for circulation. The penny or Denarium piece however would not go past the pattern stage. The obverse on all circulation issues as well as the circulation issue reads "CAECILIVS : DNS: TERRAE - MARIAE : & CT." (The "T" at the end is only on the shilling.) This translates in English to "Cecil, Lord of Maryland etc." The obverse also shows a picture of Cecil Calvert as well as the cross which is on the reverse and obverse and stands for Catholicism. The reverse bears the wording "CRESCITE : ET : MVLTIPLICAMINI" which translates to "Increased and be Multiplied." The reverse shows the Lord Baltimore "Coat of Arms" as well as the denomination in pence of ever IV for four, VI for six or XII for twelve. The Denarium pattern piece bears the words "DENARIVM : TERRAE - MARIAE" or "Denarium of Maryland." The Denarium is a very scarce piece have sold for 241,500 US dollars in About Uncirculated condition in May of 2004. The groat has an unique pattern of which Calvert's head is significantly smaller. All in all, though beautiful pieces these coins are very hard to find in nicer conditions without paying a large some of money.

09 Aug 2020

Colonial coins of America. Part 1.

Coins-United States Colonial | coins are history

The year is 1607. King James has finally made a colony in the New World in what is now Jamestown, Virginia. This would later become the colony of Virginia. Though new colonies are established after this including the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island Colony and the Connecticut colony there is no coinage yet made in the New World. The execution of King Charles in 1649 led to the short lived republic in England. With this going on, the English did not send their colonies needed coinage such as French Ecus, Dutch "Lion Dollars," English Crowns and Spanish Pieces of Eight. In 1652, the colonists solved this problem when the Massachusetts Bay Colony opened a mint in Boston. The first type of coins they minted were what numismatists know today as "NE Style" pieces. These issues were struck in three pence, six pence and shilling or 12 pence. Today these pieces are extremely scarce being that the three pence is unique, there are eight known six pence examples, and the shillings are hard to come by. Due to the simplicity of this design with simply the letters NE and on the reverse- the Roman numerals III for 3, VI for 6, or XII for 12- these coins were very easy to counterfeit. So from 1653 to 1660 they switched to the harder to counterfeit "Willow Tree" coins. All of these coins however are both the same denomination and interestingly enough bear the same dates as the "NE Style" pieces. The obverse of these pieces show the "Willow Tree" and the words "In Masathusets." On the obverse there is the date of 1652, the denomination in pence of the coin and the words "New England." (On six pence and shilling pieces there is ano and andom which both translate to year.) Some people say that these pieces are rarer than the "NE Style" pieces which makes sense given that the "Willow Tree" shilling is more valuable than the "NE Style" shilling. As for the three pence and six pence there are 3 known and 14 known respectively. In 1660 the mint switched over to the "Oak Tree" pieces. Here we add on the two pence pieces as well as the three pence, six pence and shilling pieces we have already discussed. The major difference in this series is a switch in "trees" The two pence coin is the only coin in this series which does not have 1652 as a date instead it has 1662. Also, the two pence coin has two major varieties, the "2" in 1662 is small on some coins yet large on others. The three pence coin has two major varieties as well being the "in" on obverse and no "in" on the reverse. On the six pence coin there are also two varieties one with the word "in" on the obverse and the other with it on the reverse. For the shilling there are four major varieties the word "in" on both the left side and the bottom of the reverse, as well as the word "andom" with no "m" at the end. There is also one variety in which the tree is much more straight up and it almost looks like it is thorny. This is called the "Spiny Tree." "Oak Tree" coins are much less expensive than "NE Style" and "Willow Tree" coins but still fairly expensive. The "Oak Tree" pieces were replaced in 1667 by the "Pine Tree" pieces. For this design they dropped the two pence piece. The three pence, six pence, and the shilling have the same two varieties- the no pellets at trunk and pellets at trunk. This variety is recognized by looking at the stump of the tree and seeing if there are defined lines coming out from under it. There are three more varieties for the shilling. These are the no "h" in "Masathusets", the reversed "n" in "England" and the small planchet variety which is 1 to 9 millimeters smaller in diameter in relation to the regular large planchet. These of the four of the Massachusetts silver types that I have discussed are the most common. Next time, I will talk about coins issued for Maryland.

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