Rare, found New England sixpence valued at $100,000+

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2015-06-26 10:45:23

Rare, found New England sixpence valued at $100,000+

The most valuable American coin ever found with a metal detector is to auction at Stack's Bowers Galleries on November 16th.

The famously rare coin, a 1652 New England sixpence, was discovered 339 years later buried in a potato field in Long Island. With her metal detector, Lillian P Rade of East Hampton unearthed this treasure and at the time, her story made national news, and was cited by Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

None of the coins ever discovered in America with a metal detector come close to the historical significance or the value of this example. Struck in Boston, it was one of the very first group of coins ever struck in the future United States.

The coin boasts a simple design, the letters NE on the obverse and Roman numerals VI on the reverse. These made it infinitely simple to counterfeit, which in practice led to the more complex design changes that brought about the ancestors of modern coins.

The earliest coins made in North America, New England shillings, sixpences and threepence are among the most famous and desirable coins in American numismatic history. A mere seven sixpences are known to exist. Three of these are in the hands of institutions, and none have sold at auction since this example was discovered over two decades ago.

The sixpence sold for $35,000 in 1991 after its discovery. It is now expected to fetch upwards of $100,000.

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