1652 WILLOW TREE SHILNG XF40
FINEST KNOWN SALMON 3-D WILLOW TREE. EXCEPTIONALLY WELL PRESERVED. RARITY-7. JOHN J. FORD PEDIGREE.
In 1652, the British Colonies in America were in short supply of coinage. England, having been entangled in a civil war for the previous decade could not afford to send coins to its colonies. In response to the ensuing coin shortage, Massachusetts authorities sanctioned the establishment of the first mint in the British colonies. This example of the Willow Tree Shilling is a manifestation of what may well be the first significant decision made without the consent of the British Monarchy and, subsequently, the first move towards autonomy. After the Monarchy discovered these coins were being struck, they proclaimed this to be illegal. However, the colonists continued to strike these coins for at least 35 years after this proclamation and would date the coins as 1652 to avoid detection. The double-struck nature along with the non-uniform planchet of this iconic coin hints at the knowledge that it was struck by hand and brings a personal component to the artifact. Holding this coin, one can easily imagine the Massachusetts Bay Colony where it was minted with only around 20,000 settlers to exchange it back and forth for goods and services.