The Silver Coins of Massachusetts


by Christopher J. Salmon (2010)

Hardcover, full color
ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-316-0
ISBN-10: 0-89722-316
Price: US$24.98 plus shipping and handling (no Member discount)

The silver coins of Massachusetts hold a special place in early American numismatics. They were the first coins struck in British North America, a mere generation after the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Because of their historical importance and charming style, they have prompted rich inquiry among scholars and an intense interest and desire among collectors.

The Silver Coins of Massachusetts is a splendidly illustrated review of these coins, employing the latest historical and numismatic evidence as well as novel scientific analysis. Minting technique is explored in detail. All varieties of the coinage are newly classified with a consistent yet flexible taxonomic system that lists the varieties in chronological order and can readily accommodate potential future discoveries. The system allows an appreciation for how varieties evolved and the relative degree of change that occurred at each step. It is designed to be as simple as possible without oversimplifying, with all varieties named according to their obverse and reverse dies. The book includes a fully illustrated atlas that details important characteristic features. The last part of the atlas displays each variety at actual size to aid in attribution.


Part One: Classification
A Revised Taxonomy of the Massachusetts Silver Coinage with Concordance to Noe and Crosby
Advantages of the Original Crosby Classification
Intermediate Types with Interpolative Designations: Problems with the Noe Classification
Advantages of the New System: The Crosby Model
Subseries Numbered Separately
Chronology and Method of Attribution
New England and Willow Tree Series
Oak Tree Series
The Spiny Tree Coins and the Evidence of the Overstrikes
The Large Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
The Small Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
The Pine Tree Sixpence Varieties
Counterfeits and Questionable Varieties
Die Links of the Small Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
Concordance Tables
Part Two: Minting Technique
The Problem of the Willow Tree Coins
Comparison of Minting Techniques of the Massachusetts Silver Coinage: Hand Hammering and the Rocker Press
Rocker Press Phenomena
Acquired Damage from Flattening
The Inner Circle Index: A Measure of Distortion and Evidence of Rocker Press Manufacture
Inner Circle Indices for Willow, Oak and Pine Tree Shillings
Characteristics of the Willow Tree Coinage: Weak and Discordant Multiple Strikes
A Graphical Method of Determining Strike Multiplicity and Die Rotation and Translation Between Strikes
New Composite Reconstructions of the Willow Tree Shilling Dies
Apparent Die Axis of the Willow Tree Coinage
Multiple Strikes of Similar Energy: The Effects of Die Angulation
A Physical Explanation for the Weak Strikes of the Willow Tree Coinage
The Acquisition of a Coining Press
Fabric of the Willow Tree Coinage
Quality of Execution of the Willow Tree Coinage Dies: Mannerist Style
Part Three: Atlas

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