A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment
University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections
by Louis Jordan

Images Coordinated by
James C. Spilman and the Colonial Newsletter Foundation

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FAQ: The Willow Tree Shilling

The Willow Tree Shilling is very rare and is worth several thousand dollars. The standard retail price list is R.S. Yeoman's A Guide Book of U.S. Coins,in his 1998 edition the willow tree shilling is listed as follows: Fair $2,600; Good $6,000; Fine $20,000 and Extremely Fine $42,500. Willow tree six pence and three pence pieces are even rarer.

I should caution you there are many reproductions of these coins. Some are electrotypes (lead copies with a silver wash) made in the 19th century from original coins, while others are modern reproductions sold at colonial tourist sites as at Williamsburg, Virginia. All but one of the inquiries I have had on this coin were reproductions. The one real coin turned out to be an Oak Tree shilling, which is rare, with a value of $1,000-$6,000 in very good to extremely fine, depending on variety and condition but not anywhere as rare as the Willow Tree.

If you suspect you have an original copy, the American Numismatic Association provides an authentication service. Their site is located on the web at:


At that site they state:

"Items submitted for authentication are carefully examined and photographed; those determined to be genuine receive a black-and-white photo certificate of authenticity. AuthenticationPlus Service also can provide additional data, including, but not limited to: rarity, value, weight, diameter, specific gravity, variety, surface characteristics, reflectivity, originality, type of counterfeit, reed count, and recommended references for further research."

Unfortunately the cost of this service is not listed, one must contact them at the following address for further information.

ANA Collector Services
818 North Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279

Telephone: 800/467-5725
Fax: 719/634-4085

A company providing a grading service is the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). They will attribute and grade colonial coins. Their services and prices are listed on the web at: