1652 SHILNG Oak Tree Shilling, IN at Left, MS63 PCGS. Noe-...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1652 Oak Tree Shilling, MS63
1652 SHILNG Oak Tree Shilling, IN at Left, MS63 PCGS. Noe-1,
W-430, Salmon 1-A, R.3. 71.75 grains. Die alignment: 170º. A
magnificent example of the first Oak Tree shilling variety to be
produced by the Massachusetts Bay mint. The tree realistically
spreads its branches to fill the space provided by the central
circle, making it the most attractive of the Oak Tree series. Both
the obverse and reverse legends are entirely distinct, with none of
the softness usually encountered in this variety. The centering is
virtually perfect, with only the slightest displacement. In
addition to being remarkably well produced, this shilling has been
vigilantly cared for. Deep slate-gray toning suffused with a rich
rose hue provides excellent eye appeal and bespeaks the coin's
originality. If it may be the case that few Massachusetts silver
coins are truly beautiful, it must be said that this is one of
The Noe-1 was not only the first Oak Tree shilling to be produced, but it was the first Massachusetts silver issue of any type to have been struck on a rocker press. The earlier Willow Tree coins were struck by hammer dies, with one die fixed in a vice and the other held freely in the coiner's hand. This minting technique required multiple blows of the hammer, which resulted in coins with doubled or tripled images. In contrast, a lever-action rocker press would squeeze a strip of silver between two curved dies, impressing the design into the silver, which was then cut to shape. While this was a laborious process, it produced far more attractive and uniform coins.
This coin was purchased from the April 1962 Stack's sale of the R.E. Cox, Jr. collection, where it was described as Uncirculated and as "Probably the finest we've handled." It sold for $460, a strong price at the time. Our consignor, Alan Weinberg, describes it as: "Simply the finest condition, superbly struck, perfectly round and broad Noe-1 Oak Tree shilling I've seen. Nary a letter cut short at the border on either side. I've never seen its equal. It has always been one of my favorites." The centering on this example is indeed exceptional, and this characteristic serves to distinguish it from the few other Uncirculated Noe-1 Oak Tree shillings extant today. The Partrick coin, graded MS65 and likely the finest known in terms of technical grade, is somewhat off-center and is also softly struck on the left of both sides, traits shared by the Newman example. While the finest of the four Noe-1 shillings in the Ford sale, there graded Choice About Uncirculated, is described therein as "... a rival to Weinberg's lovely N.1 ...," a closer comparison reveals the present coin to be the superior specimen by a significant margin. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a firmly struck, well-centered, Choice Uncirculated Noe-1 Oak Tree shilling. Part of the landmark exhibition of Massachusetts silver coinage at the American Numismatic Society in 1991 (Kleeberg catalog No. 26). Listed on page 41 of the 2020 Guide Book. Population for the type: 2 in 63, none are finer (11/19).
Ex: R.E. Cox, Jr. (Stack's 4/1962), lot 3.
From The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part III. (NGC ID# 36MK, Variety PCGS# 45361, Base PCGS# 20)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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