The coinage authorized by the Massachusetts General Court was the first to be minted and circulated in what is now the United States. The European settlers of Massachusetts had been using Wampum as a medium of exchange doe to the dearth of available coinage. This arrangement proved unsatisfactory. Unique coinage was first introduced in 1652 to remedy the problem. Several issues were made over the following three decades including the Oak Tree issues of which this is one.
The Oak Tree coinage was struck from 1660 to 1667. Coins were given a 1652 date in order to appear not to conflict with the Monarchy restored in 1660. (Issuing coinage without approval of the Crown was treason; a very serious offense. ) The coins went into circulation and were used extensively in the New England area for at least the next half century. The Oak Tree Threepence was issued in minuscule amounts. Many were clipped or bent and few remain nice today. Only a handful of these coins exist now as evidenced by the tiny number that have been certified by grading services. This is likely one of the rarest coins issued on U.S. soil that we have ever handled!
This particular coin has pleasing color, a bold date and reverse legends. The coin is slightly wavy and the Oak Tree is visible but a little weak. Overall it is a decent coin for the grade and boasts a nice combination of visual appeal relative to the price. There are only 20 auction records for this type coin over the past 17 years in all grades combined! All that auctioned were higher grades. If you could locate a specimen of this type, it would likely be higher grade and cost at least $2,000.00 more! PCGS retail on this coin is $2,650.00