The colonists of Massachusetts were in need of coinage, so the Massachusetts Bay Colony opened up an illegal mint in Boston in 1652. Joseph Jenks was hired to make the dies at his iron mill in Saugus. John Hull, a goldsmith, was hired as mint master. Since people were “clipping” silver off the edges of shilling coins, then trying to pass them off for full value, the General Court in October of 1652 directed that all coins have a double ring on either side with the inscription “IN · MASATHUSETS.” A tree was in the center of the obverse, and “NEW ENGLAND” and “AN · DOM” (the year of our Lord) on the reverse. Even though this coin was minted in 1653-1660, all the coins were struck with the year 1652. Coining money was the prerogative of the King and the colonists had no right to strike their own coins, so the 1652 date was a deception to give the coins the appearance of having been struck after Charles I had been beheaded and there was no king in England. In this way they could deny any illegality when the monarchy was reestablished.
AN EXACT REPLICA