Coin Specifications

Category: Early American Coins & Tokens
Catalog: KM-6
Composition: Silver
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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c.1659 LORD BALTIMORE MARYLAND 1S MS obverse c.1659 LORD BALTIMORE MARYLAND 1S MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The Boston Mint was sufficiently productive that most collectors can own a Pine Tree or Oak Tree example. The other early silver series struck for the colonies, the Lord Baltimore coinage, is decidedly rarer. Even advanced numismatists can only dream of owning a Baltimore penny, of which six pieces are known. The other three issues, the fourpence, sixpence, and shilling, are collectible but hard to find, especially in better grades.

Most examples of Baltimore shillings are from the present dies (illustrated above). A Small Head variant exists, but is unique in silver and extremely rare in copper. It was probably a rejected prototype for the shilling production, and the same can be said for Breen-67, a shilling with a different shield design known from a single specimen.

The head of Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, was so iconic of Maryland numismatics that it again surfaced on the 1934 Maryland Tercentenary commemorative half. However, that bust was three-quarters facing instead of a left profile. William Idler store cards of 1859 to 1860 used a more derivative imitation of the Maryland silver coinage. These specifically imitated the prohibitively rare Maryland penny. Idler was a Philadelphia coin dealer, and the father-in-law of Captain John Haseltine of Confederate cent fame.

Cecil Calvert (1609-1675) never visited his American colony, although his two younger brothers went there to manage it. Cecil inherited the colony from his father, George Calvert, who was granted the title by King Charles I, a fellow Catholic sympathizer. Specie, of course, was in short supply in the Maryland colony, and tobacco circulated as money. As production of tobacco rose, its purchasing power diminished. To stabilize the economy, silver coins bearing Cecil's bust and personal arms were struck in London and exported to the colonies, circa 1659.

The Protestant English government learned of Calvert's coinage, and Cecil was arrested in October 1659. He was charged with two crimes: underweight silver coinage, and the exportation of specie from England. The Baltimore coinage was approximately 30% underweight to induce it to remain in the colony, although the unfamiliar types soon traded by their weight instead of face value. Calvert's punishment, if any, is unrecorded, but it is known that his coinage remained in circulation in Maryland until at least 1671.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 4
Low Grade: 53
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 58


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
11/3/1999 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1231, 1231/Lot# 1001 $8,480.00
8/6/2001 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2001 Atlanta, GA Signature Sale #267, 267/Lot# 5017 $9,487.50
1/9/2002 PCGS VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2002 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale #280, 280/Lot# 5024 $5,060.00
1/9/2008 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #454, 454/Lot# 2636 $126,500.00
2/28/2012 PCGS XF 40   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1011 $23,000.00
2/22/2013 PCGS XF 45   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 4 $32,900.00
2/27/2014 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(2), 1203/Lot# 3692 $49,937.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score c.1659 LORD BALTIMORE MARYLAND 1S MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base18862197288540485466640066166820701471387317743179608428958813919175461876720050213972280924290
19892426327245205777647266846884705571977355760781168814110311512817953191942049921867233020
0000006684688470557197735576078116881411031151281795319194204992186700
0000006752694970967257739377838272920112475163371836019622209482233800
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