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Interesting coin story from the Associated Press

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LONDON (AP) - A 351-year-old coin, one of the first ever minted in colonial America, has been found in Britain, an auction house said Wednesday.

The rare New England silver sixpence turned up when relatives of a deceased British man were rummaging through his belongings. They sent it to an expert for identification.


"It just came through the post in an unregistered envelope but when I opened it I recognized the sixpence straight away and my heart leapt. It is exceedingly rare and a very exciting find," said Rick Coleman, the senior valuer at Bonhams auctioneers.


He said that the silver coin is about the size of a penny with "NE" for New England stamped on one side and "VI" on the other. It is one of only nine New England silver sixpences known to exist, all minted in Boston in 1652.


"It is very hot stuff," said Robert W. Hoge, curator of American coins and currency at the American Numismatic Society in New York.


"This is the first coin to be struck in what is now the U.S., and the first coin to be struck in a British colony.


Bonhams expects their sixpence to sell for around $33,200 to $41,500.


AP-ES-10-08-03 2112EDT



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