An extraordinarily rare coin with a face value of just pennies when it was minted in mid-17th century New England could sell for the equivalent of about $300,000 when it’s put up for auction in London next month.
The silver one shilling coin made in Boston in 1652 — considered the finest example of the roughly 40 such coins known to still exist — was recently found in the United Kingdom inside a candy tin containing hundreds of older coins, auctioneer Morton & Eden Ltd., said in a statement Wednesday.
James Morton, the auctioneer’s coin specialist, called the New England coin the “star of the collection.”
“I could hardly believe my eyes when I realised that it was an excellent example of a New England shilling, struck by John Hull in 1652 in Boston for use as currency by early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,” he said in a statement.
The Massachusetts General Court in 1652 appointed Hull and his assistant, Robert Sanderson, as Boston mintmaster, responsible for producing North America’s first silver coinage. The mint, considered treasonous by King Charles II, was shut down in 1682, according to the statement.