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Image of Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling,
 
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Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling,

 

a.
Notice the spelling of Massachusetts. The "th" could be an attempt to approximate the traditional Indian pronunciation. Before the advent of Noah Webster's Dictionary in the 19th century, the spelling of many words, including state names, tended to be erratic.

 

b.
Pine trees formed an important part of New England's economy, so British colonists used an image of one on their silver coins.

 

c.
A thin, nearly circular piece of metal was rolled though a hand-cranked press to make this coin. In part, this accounts for its oblong shape. Once in circulation, people routinely snipped off the edges of the coins to obtain metal for other uses, passing the diminished remainders as full-weight coins!

 

 
 
Legendary Firsts The following objects are in this section.
Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling, "1652" (struck 1667-1674)First United States Silver Dollar, 1794Great Britain, Sovereign, 1838
Massachusetts, "twenty shillings," 1690Brasher Doubloon, 1787United States, 5 Dollars, 1838
Pewter Continental Dollar, 1776United States, 20 Dollars, 1854United States, 10 Dollars, 1838
Copper Pattern Dollar, 1794Portrait Medal of James Smithson, 1817 
 
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