Metal Detector Blog

March 19, 2018
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Perseverance Pays Off: 1652 Pine Tree Coin

Perseverance Pays Off: 1652 Pine Tree Coin

Denise is a great detectorist to go into the fields to hunt with. She’s very enjoyable, low key and loves the hobby! I first met Denise in the shop when she bought her Minelab CTX 3030. George and Denise stopped by the shop during the middle of the week and asked if I would like to join them for a hunt. Unfortunately, I said I have to work and was very busy. They stated, “Are you sure? We did some history on this location. Also, some recon of the area back in January which look promising for some old grey.” Again, I must say, having George to do the leg work is great for all of us. Who can argue with a person who has found eight tree coins? So they left, met Glen and then the three of them headed south to the new location.

After 3 hours of detecting, both Glen and George had found the usual colonial coppers, buttons and a few Indian head pennies. At the time, Denise was in a morning slump to say the least. We’ve ALL been there. She has had the CTX 3030 for about 3 years, but up until recently, really hasn’t been able to put the time into mastering the detector. That machine has a learning curve to using all of the functions that it offers. She was feeling like the place was kicking her butt. Not wanting to give up, she sat down decided to change some settings and switched from auto to manual sensitivity. With the new settings in place and with renewed hope she meandered off once again.

With about an hour left to hunt, Glen heard Denise scream “WHAWHO!” “You find anything good?” Glen asked. Denise yelled out, “TREEEE COINNN!!! 10-12 inches down!” George looked up to see what turned out to be a tree coin dance. She discovered what every treasure hunter dreams of- a 1652 Pine Tree shilling a Noe-29!! I mean wow!

Over the past year, both Denise and Heidi have both found Massachusetts silver coinage. Both of them are successful women detectorists in our group. They are a part of the growing number of women who are enjoying the hobby. I am proud of both and wish them plenty of continued success!

Here is some short history of the pine tree shilling. They
are known as America’s most famous colonial coin. They originated in the colony
of Massachusetts Bay. Due to a short supply of currency, the colonists had to
take matters in their own hands, since England refused to coins to the
colonies. In 1652, a new mint was formed by Robert Sanderson and John Hull. Since
there was no ruling king at the time, the people of Massachusetts decided to
place “1652” on all the coins to deny any illegality to when and if the
monarchy were reestablished.

There were two series of pine tree shillings: 1st
series that included a larger planchet; a rocker arm press or a roller press.
The 2nd ones were struck on smaller, thicker planchets that the
previous version. They were known specifically as “Pine Tree” shillings because
they were stamped with the image of a pine tree, which was a main export of the
colony. This one is a Noe-29 and the rarity is listed as a 3. The estimated
minting is around 201—500 known to exist and the value at AU-50 is $12,500.00!!

Thanks again to Denise and George for their collaboration of
the day.

Happy Treasure Hunting!


This information in this blog comes from the Whitman
Encyclopedia Colonial and Early American coins, David Bowers,, and