America’s First Dated Coin

“One of perhaps four known American coins outside the Mint Coll[ection] which can be traced back to 1860 or before...” – Walter Breen
[photo: supplement to Montroville Dickeson's manual (1860), plate XX, coin illustration No. 2]

This Willow Tree Shilling was illustrated over 150 years ago in the supplement to Montroville Dickeson's manual (1860), plate XX, coin illustration No. 2. In its day, Dickeson's manual was the first comprehensive encyclopedia of U.S. coinage.

[photo: Plate #39 from the American Numismatic Society's Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins Catalogue]

Plate #39 from the American Numismatic Society's Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins Catalogue, shows the same Willow Tree Shilling pictured above. Henry Chapman – dealer, cataloguer, and collector – owned this shilling at the time the ANS exhibition was held in 1914.

[photo: Noe Plate VIII from Sydney P. Noe's The New England And Willow Tree Coinages of Massachusetts]

The very same Willow Tree Shilling is also the subject of this line drawing, above, Noe Plate VIII from Sydney P. Noe's The New England And Willow Tree Coinages of Massachusetts, compiled in 1943.