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Shilling Sets Record Price
By Numismatic News
November 15, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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It was just 18 coins in a major numismatic auction, but oh what coins they were.

Record prices were achieved by the David M. Sundman Collection of Colonial and Early American coins.

Going on the block Nov. 8 at a Stack’s Bowers auction in Baltimore, a NE shilling brought a record $440,625.

“We opened to a packed auction gallery,” noted Christine Karstedt, auctioneer at the sale and executive vice president of the firm.

There were four designs of Massachusetts Bay Colony silver coins minted beginning in 1652. These are considered the first coins struck in what is now the United States. The types include the first, the undated NE (for New England), followed by the Willow Tree, Oak Tree, and Pine Tree motifs.

Bidding came from all over the room and from countless clients on the Internet, the firm reported.

First to cross the block, Lot 4001, was a landmark example of the NE silver shilling, cataloged as Noe-1-A in the standard reference in the series and the plate coin in that book. Graded as AU-55 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, it started at $250,000 and went up and up to a breathtaking $440,625 (including buyer’s fee). The room broke out in rousing applause.

Next up was an N-1 1652 Willow Tree shilling, PCGS VF-35. It is the Noe plate coin. Its pedigree dates back to prior to 1860. After another round of bidding frenzy it found a new home at $282,000 setting another price record.

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Lot 4003 was a PCGS AU-53 1652 Willow Tree sixpence, plate coin for the Red Book, Noe and Salmon. It was “Going, going, gone” at $270,250.

Stack’s Bowers provided a list and descriptions of the other 15 coins.

• Oak Tree Shilling. Noe-1.5, Salmon 1-A, W-430. Rarity-3 (Rarity-7 for die state). IN at Left. AU-53 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $16,450.
• Oak Tree Shilling. Noe-5, Salmon 3-D, W-470. Rarity-2. IN at Bottom. AU-58+ (PCGS). Secure Holder. $41,125.
• Oak Tree Shilling. Noe-9, Salmon 7-Ei, W-500. Rarity-5. IN at Bottom. AU-50 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $35,250.
• Oak Tree Sixpence. Noe-22, Salmon 2b-B, W-400. Rarity-5. IN on Obverse. MS-63 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $55,812.50.
• Oak Tree Threepence. Noe-23, Salmon 1-A, W-260. Rarity-6. IN on Obverse. AU-58 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $42,593.75
• Oak Tree Twopence. Noe-31, Salmon 1-A, W-240. Rarity-4. Small 2. EF-45 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $7,343,75
• Pine Tree Shilling. Large Planchet. Noe-1, Salmon 1-A, W-690. Rarity-2. Pellets at Trunk. MS-62 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $49,937.50.
• Pine Tree Shilling. Large Planchet. Noe-3, Salmon 3-C, W-710. Rarity-6+. Without Pellets at Trunk. MS-61 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $22,325.00
• Pine Tree Shilling. Large Planchet. Noe-10, Salmon 8-Diii, W-750. Rarity-3. Without Pellets at Trunk. AU-55 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $12,337.50
• Pine Tree Shilling. Small Planchet. Noe-15, Salmon 1-A, W-830. Rarity-5. EF-45 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $11,750.
• Pine Tree Shilling. Small Planchet. Noe-16, Salmon 2-B, W-835. Rarity-2. MS-62 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $32,900.
• Pine Tree Shilling. Small Planchet. Noe-22, Salmon 8-B, W-870. Rarity-6. EF-45 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $13,512.50.
• Pine Tree Shilling. Small Planchet. Noe-30, Salmon 12-G, W-935. Rarity-3. AU-50 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $9,693.75.
• Pine Tree Sixpence. Noe-33, Salmon 2-B, W-670. Rarity-3. Pellets at Trunk. AU-50 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $7,637.50.
• Pine Tree Threepence. Noe-36, Salmon 2-B, W-640. Rarity-4. Without Pellets. AU-50 (PCGS). Secure Holder. $11,750.

Asked what contributed to the success of the sale, Q. David Bowers, said, “It was a combination of careful research, a scholarly yet enthusiastic presentation to what I consider to be the finest base of advanced clients in the world, and the remarkable quality of the coins. This alignment of the stars, so to speak, made numismatic history.”

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