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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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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: 3
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 50


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/3/2012 PCGS VF 31   Brown Teletrade Auction 3340, 3340/Lot# 1352 $380.00
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
9/4/2014 NGC MS 63   Brown Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1209/Lot# 8844 $1,586.25
1/7/2015 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1216/Lot# 4002 $13,512.50
3/26/2015 PCGS VF 35   Brown Stack's Bowers March 2015 Baltimore, 6065/Lot# 2449 $88,125.00
8/12/2015 NGC AU 50   Brown Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(2), 1223/Lot# 3902 $88,125.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score c.1616 LG PORTHOLES SOMMER ISLANDS 6P MS Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3345373046946820102261175411959121671237712589128051302313631142601491115583162771699417734184981976724123
347340515403795510735118221202812237124481266112878132261384114477151351581416516172411798918921212190
000000120281223712448126611287813226138411447715135158141651617241179891892100
000000120981230712518127331295013428140501469415359160461675517487182431934400
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