Coin Specifications

Category: Early American – Pre-Declaration (1616-1775)
Mint: Unknown
Catalog: KM-3
Composition: Brass
Weight: 3.8000g
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

c.1616 LG PORTHOLES SOMMER ISLANDS 6P MS obverse c.1616 LG PORTHOLES SOMMER ISLANDS 6P MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Both Small Portholes and Large Portholes variants of the Sommer Islands sixpence are known with the latter being slightly more available. While the name of the colony is abbreviated “SI” on the twopence and threepence, the sixpence is large enough to have the full “SOMMER ILANDS” legend. (Interestingly, it is spelled “ISLANDS” with an “s” on the shillings.)

The earliest coins struck for British North America were the Sommer Islands twopence, threepence, sixpence and shillings. The Sommer Islands (also frequently spelled Somer Islands or Isles) comprise present-day Bermuda.

In 1609, nine ships carrying colonists to the new colony of Jamestown in Virginia shipwrecked there during a severe storm, stranding the passengers on an island. The passengers, however, were greeted by an abundance of wild hogs, believed to have descended from a group left by Juan Bermudez, a Spanish explorer who discovered the islands more than 100 years earlier. In 1610, the islands were named “Sommer Islands” after the death of Sir George Somers, one of the passengers who had been stranded.

On June 29, 1615, the Bermuda Company was established to colonize these islands. The company’s authorization included the right to strike coins and soon brass twopence, threepence, sixpence and shilling were minted. The wild hog that inhabited the islands was used as the obverse design and many collectors refer to these coins as “hogge money.” On the reverse is a depiction of a ship.

Metal detector finds in Bermuda have resulted in greater availability of Sommer Islands coinage but they are still decidedly rare. Most of the surviving examples are circulated and corroded, undoubtedly a result of being buried for hundreds of years.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 50


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

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Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/12/2015 VF Details Brown Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1216/Lot# 4002


Auction Prices Realized

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Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/3/2012 PCGS VF 31   Brown Teletrade Auction 3340, 3340/Lot# 1352 $380.00
10/17/2012 PCGS VF 20   Brown Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 6001 $86,250.00
5/16/2014 NGC AU 50   Brown Heritage Auctions 2014 May 16 - 17 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection IV Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1199/Lot# 30256 $129,250.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score c.1616 LG PORTHOLES SOMMER ISLANDS 6P MS Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base23852754344744316400770480828428880990469379958810515110471217818532237462527026866285363028132103
2508298537755087683478308197855588889157944898971069211424142962027024254258022742229117308880
000000819785558888915794489897106921142414296202702425425802274222911700
0000008312868289679268951810206108691180116414220082476226334279792969900
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