A silver coin minted in colonial Boston in 1652 has sold for $ 351,912. The one kenyan shilling coin is one of fair 40 of its kind known to survive today, the Associated Press ( AP ) reports .
“ I am not surprised at the total of interest this especial coin attracted, ” says James Morton, a mint specialist with London-based auction family Morton and Eden, in a affirmation. “ The price paid … reflects its extraordinary historic significance and outstanding original state of conservation. The fact that it was previously wholly stranger, together with its identify birthplace, simply added to its appeal. ”
Morton and Eden sold the coin on behalf of Wentworth “ Wenty ” Beaumont, a descendant of early New England settler William Wentworth. Beaumont ’ s father recently discovered the artifact in a sugarcoat tin containing hundreds of old coins at the family ’ second estate of the realm in Northumberland, England .
“ I can lone assume that the shilling was brought back from America years ago by one of my forebears, ” says Beaumont in the statement.
After the long-forgotten tin resurfaced, Beaumont brought it to Morton, who realized that the container included specimens from all over the world, spanning the ancient era through the 1970s, reports Sophie Corcoran for PA Media .
“ I could see heterosexual away that there were batch of interesting pieces aboard some ordinary mod coins, but there was one dim-witted silver disk which immediately jumped out at me, ” says Morton in a separate Morton and Eden statement. “ I could barely believe my eyes when I realized that it was an excellent exercise of a New England shill, struck by John Hull in 1652 in Boston for use as currentness by early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. ”
Purchased by an anonymous bidder from the United States, the mint features a simple plan with the initials NE ( for New England ) on one side and the Roman numeral XII ( its respect in penny ) on the early. The newly discovered example is the entirely one of its kind certified as “ mint country ” by a coin grading service .
“ The coin has frightful eye appeal, ” coin expert Jim Bailey told the AP ’ s Mark Pratt prior to the sale. “ Because there are entirely about 40 such coins in universe, this specimen can be called the finest known. ”
anterior to 1652, New England settlers used coins from diverse european countries, along with boodle made from shells, as currency. Though english authorities had banned the creation of colonial neologism, the Massachusetts General Court defied this order by commissioning silversmith John Hull and his assistant Robert Sanderson to produce the first gear coins struck in North America in 1652 .
Minted to address coin shortages and improve consistency in neologism, these initial dateless coins were easy to counterfeit, so the Boston-based mint soon shifted gears to more complex designs featuring willow, oak and pine trees. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, silversmiths dated all coins struck at the mint over the future 30 years to 1652 in order to “ conceal the continuous mintage from british authorities in London. ” In 1682, however, English king Charles II shut down the batch as “ faithless ” ; two years late, the colony ’ second charter was revoked in response to “ recur violations of [ its ] terms, ” including the establishment of the illegal mint, as Rebecca Beatrice Brooks wrote for the History of Massachusetts Blog last year .
William Wentworth likely arrived in New England in 1636. He was a follower of Puritan clergyman John Wheelwright, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637, and a signer of the 1639 Exeter Combination, which created the community that would late become Exeter, New Hampshire. Based partially on the fact that Beaumont found early early New England coins in the candy-tin collection, Morton and Eden suggest that Wentworth acquired the coin when it was new and kept it in the family. The settler ’ second descendants went on to hold a numeral of big positions in New England, noted Nancy Riley for My New England Ancestors in 2016 .