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Pine Tree Shilling
1652

Colonial coins just 32 years after the Mayflower landed
In defiance of the British government's prohibition on private colonial coinage, Boston silversmith Captain John Hull minted Massachusetts's first twelvepenny coin, the famous Pine Tree Shilling, in 1652. Hull guaranteed that each of his Pine Tree Shillings contained 15 ounces of silver, thus providing the colonists additional coinage to use alongside the European currencies-Dutch guilders, Portuguese crusados, French livres, and Spanish doubloons-that also circulated in the colony. A hundred years later the pine tree would serve as a symbol of American independence from Britain, appearing on flags at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775.

Notes
Massachusetts Shillings were struck from 1652 to 1682

Learn more!
· National Numismatic Collection, NMAH

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