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Early American Shipwreck Coin Found Metal Detecting

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Posted 8 years ago

(5 items)

My wife found a 1652 Massachusetts New England Oak Tree coin metal detecting on the Outer Banks of NC. Can anyone tell me more about this coin as to its rarity, variety and possible value.

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  1. VikingFan82 VikingFan82, 8 years ago
    Upon closer inspection, your coin appears to be a 1662 Oak Tree, or half of one. In good condition it would be worth $600, I could say it would be worth half that, but I think being that it is half of a coin, I think it would be significantly less. Still a great find! I'm envious. :P

  2. Belltown Belltown, 8 years ago
    The Collectors Weekly interview with Colonial coin collector Ray Williams talks about how, in the 17th century, people often cut coins like this two-pence piece into halves or even quarters to make smaller units of change.
  3. Phil M , 7 years ago
    Great Find, what you have here is a Massachusetts 1652 Oak Tree Shilling that was cut in half to make it a sixpence. The variety is Noe-5 (based on a book by Sydney P Noe, The Silver Coinage of Massachusetts).
  4. officialfuel officialfuel, 7 years ago
    What an awesome find, good luck on your next treasure!
  5. Lee Sayer, 7 years ago
    Good finds on the coin and the forged spikes.Would guess the best time to hit the outer banks is after a day or two of strong on shore wind.
  6. Victoriankitty, 7 years ago
    Phil, does your book give any estimation of value for that variety coin??
    Lee, your right, it was found 3 days after a coastal low pounded the beach with huge waves!
  7. Phil M, 7 years ago
    My book is from 1974 so the prices listed are not accurate. Coins like yours are very rare and always in demand. Current auction prices can provide what the market is willing to pay for one of them. You could go to http://www.stacks.com website and click on auction archives and search for Noe-5 Oak Tree Shilling. I do not believe that there is one that is cut in half though (which makes it all the more interesting as it shows the shortage of change at that time). What a great find and it would be really neat to identify the ship it was from. Take care.
  8. Phil M, 7 years ago
    Just my opinion if I were you I would keep the coin. Display it. Don't sell it. It is a really rare find based on where you found it with a ton of history. If ever in the future you want to sell it I would consign it to an auction and don't sell it to a local coin shop.
  9. Phil M, 7 years ago
    Click on the attached website page to see your coin variety.
  10. Victoriankitty, 7 years ago
    Phil, thanks again for all the info. I wish there was a way to figure out what ship it may have come from. Most of the early shipwrecks aren't that well documented. I do plan on keeping the coin and displaying it along with many other shipwreck artifacts. Now if I could pay my house off by selling it, then I would have to let it go :)
  11. Phil M, 7 years ago
    If you don't mind me asking, was the coin found near the dunes or down near the water? How deep was the piece when you found it? I have been collecting Massachusetts silver coins like yours for over 25 years and find them absolutely fascinating! Take care.
  12. Victoriankitty, 7 years ago
    It was found on the hightide slope about halfway from the water to the dunes.
    I think it may have been pulled out of the dunes during an earlier storm? Last winter there was a shipwreck washed out of the dunes, it ended up washing 2 miles down the beach before it was recovered by archeologists. Here's a link to the importance of this recovery.

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