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Couple, Found a Trove of 264 Gold Coins That is Now Set to Sell at Auction For as Much as £250,000 ($288,000).

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What would you find if you looked beneath your floor in your house? For one couple in the UK, they found a hidden trove of 264 gold coins that could now sell for up to £250,000 ($288,000) at auction while renovating their house.

For centuries, a hidden treasure rested under an 18th-century townhouse located in Ellerby, a village within North Yorkshire. In 2019, the homeowners of 10 years were renovating their kitchen floor when they hit an electrical cable that was beneath the concrete.

 

The cup’s handle was broken and it’s thought this is why it was used as a storage vessel for the coins. Photo Credit: Spink

 

 

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Instead, it was the secret hoard, tightly packed inside a salt-glazed earthenware cup, about the size of a soda can, buried beneath the home, ITV News reported.

“It was an entirely serendipitous discovery,” Gregory Edmund, of London auctioneers Spink and Son, said in a statement. “As a coin specialist with many years of experience, I cannot recall a similar discovery in living memory.”

 

The collection will be offered at auction by Ellerby Auctions, which is calling the find one of the UK’s greatest coin discoveries in archaeological history. The sale will take place on October 7 as a dedicated Ellerby hoard sale.

 

gold coin
The coin hoard in situ. The couple were putting a new floor in when they made the find.
Credit: Spink

The coins, which show clear evidence of being used often, are dated 1610 to 1727. The youngest coin in the hoard is less than 300 years old, meaning that it does not qualify as “treasure” under British law and therefore the couple who found can keep it. The value of the coins spans from James I through King George I’s reign and they are originally worth £50-£100

 

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The most valuable coin today is a 1720 George I guinea that, due to a mistake during minting, does not have the king’s head on it. Instead, there are two “tails” sides . This coin could be sold for as much as £4,000 ($4,600). A 1675 Charles II guinea , which has a spelling error in his Latin name (“CRAOLVS” instead of “CAROLVS), presale estimate is only £1,500 ($1,725)

 

gold coin
This rare Charles II guinea with spelling mistake is expected to fetch £1,500 ($1,725) at auction. It is one of the coins discovered beneath a kitchen floor in the U.K. Photo Credit : Spink

 

 

The collection was originally owned by Joseph and Sarah Fernley-Maisters, a couple from a wealthy commercial family who married in 1694 and died in 1725 and 1745, respectively. The family made their money through iron ore trading, timber dealing, and coal mining.

“Joseph and Sarah clearly distrusted the newly-formed Bank of England, the ‘banknote’ and even the gold coinage of their day because they [chose] to hold onto so many coins dating to the English Civil War and beforehand,” Edmund said. “Why they never recovered the coins when they were really easy to find just beneath original 18th-century floorboards is an even bigger mystery, but it is one hell of a piggy bank.”

 

 

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