An extremely rare coin made in the mid-17th century in New England was mixed up in an old candy tin. It was sold last year by London auctioneers Morton and Eden for a whopping $278,520. The coin, called a New England shilling, was made in 1652 and used by the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was bought by an anonymous U.S. bidder. The seller had ancestors who arrived in America as early as 1636 and were prominent in the colonies. The tin, found in their ancestral home in Bywell Hall in Northumberland’s Tyne Valley, had a “bizarre collection of random old coinage.” The family took it to a coin expert, who right away noticed the rare American coin.

The silver coin has a simple design with the initials NE for New England, together with the Roman numerals XII (indicating 12 pence which equals one shilling). This New England shilling is one of about 40 examples, which are known to survive and has been certified as genuine and in mint condition.

The entire contents of the vintage sweet tin, which contained coins from all over the world dating from ancient times to the 1970s, sold for a total of $453,418. A valuable find sitting in a study for generations!


rare shilling coin found in candy box tin

Photo: Morton & Eden Ltd., London

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