Annapolis, Maryland silversmith John Chalmers produced silver threepence, sixpence, and shillings, the dies for which seem to have been engraved by Thomas Sparrow, who also engraved plates for Maryland paper currency.
The Chalmers pieces were produced in Annapolis at the corner of Fleet and Cornhill streets. Judging by the number of examples extant, the shilling seems to have been produced in the greatest quantity, and it is the denomination seen most often in today’s market. The threepence is incredibly elusive, with just about 30 thought to survive.
We are delighted to offer an incredible AU-58 example of this colonial rarity in our October 2018 Baltimore Auction, where it will be sold as part of the Cohasco Collection of Colonial Coinage. This piece is truly magnificent, tied in quality with the AU-58 Picker-Craige specimen we sold in our March 2013 sale for $60,513. The example to be offered in October has been off the market for many decades and is sure to draw significant interest from both colonial specialists and type collectors.
This particular specimen is exceptional for its combination of rarity and incredible preservation. The surfaces display lovely patina of peach and lavender, with brighter silver luster on the high points. The strike is well centered, slightly pulled towards six o’clock on the reverse but otherwise ideal. Each side shows evidence of double striking, with just a small shift of the planchet between strikes. The detail is bold and the surfaces are free from notable blemishes. This is certainly one of the finest specimens we have ever handheld, and even the legendary John J. Ford, Jr. Collection was lacking this rare issue.
This AU-58 1783 Chalmers threepence is being offered as part of the Cohasco Collection in our October 2018 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. Assembled in the 1960s and comprising over 425 pieces, the Cohasco Collection touches upon a wide range of colonial issues including Massachusetts silver, St. Patrick coinage, the coins of William Wood, state coinages, and Fugio coppers, among many others. Also appearing in our October Baltimore Auction are a number of additional rarities including an AU-58 1792 Birch cent and an AU-58+ 1792 disme in copper, both from the Archangel Collection of Colonial and 1792 Coinage. The sale will be available for viewing and bidding on our website, or you may contact our offices to secure a printed catalog. To speak with a numismatic representative, please call 800-458-4646 or email Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.
Press release courtesy of the Whitman Baltimore Winter Expo.