Greg Reynolds wrote a detailed article in CoinWeek, inspired by a landmark group of Willow Tree coins of Massachusetts in the
upcoming Kendall Collection auction by Stack’s-Bowers on March 26th in Baltimore. Here's an excerpt, but be sure to read the complete
version online. -Editor
The Kendall Collection, which will be auctioned by Stack’s-Bowers on March 26th in Baltimore, contains a landmark group of Willow Tree
coins, as part of one of the all-time greatest, overall collections of Massachusetts Silver coins. The Kendall Collection also features
other pre-1793 coins and Civil War era American numismatic items.
Three denominations of coins were authorized and struck in Massachusetts, starting in 1652: twelvepence, sixpence and threepence coins.
Twelve pence equaled one shilling and twelvepence silver coins were typically termed shillings.
It may be true that Willow Tree coins were minted from 1653 to 1660; Oak Tree type coins were minted from 1660 to 1667; and Pine Tree
type coins were produced from 1667 to 1683. Although some illuminating documents survive, the exact time-line will never be known to
In the past, there was debate among researchers as to how Willow Tree coins were minted. It seems clear that a screw press was not used.
American colonial coins during the 1700s and U.S. coins from 1793 to the mid 1830s were typically produced with a screw press.
Christopher Salmon, MD, recently authored a landmark reference on Massachusetts Silver coinage. Salmon is a collector and a member of
the board of trustees of the American Numismatic Society (ANS). He is also the chairman of the committee that oversees the coin collection
of the ANS museum.
Dr. Salmon concludes that Willow Tree coins “were definitely hammered and cold-struck.” The circular blanks were not heated before being
Salmon’s research indicates that “all of the finishing work done by silversmiths of the time period was done cold, including the
striking of touch-marks,”
To read the complete article, see:
Willow Tree Silver Coins of Massachusetts: The Second Type of Coins Struck in the Original Thirteen Colonies
Wayne Homren, Editor
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