Enrichment Arts & Culture

A metal detectorist may have found one of England’s first gold coins

Story at a glance

  • A metal detectorist in England discovered a gold penny that depicts an image of King Henry III.
  • Called the “Henry III gold penny,” it’s estimated to have been minted around the year 1257.
  • The rare gold penny is being auctioned off and could sell for more than half a million dollars.

A metal detectorist in England discovered a rare gold coin that depicts former ruler King Henry III and could sell for more than half a million dollars. 

The coin is called the “Henry III gold penny” and was found within the vast farmlands of Devon in the southwest of England. The penny was found by a metal detectorist who wished to remain anonymous, according to CNN. 

The penny depicts King Henry III sitting on a throne while holding an orb and scepter. It’s considered to be one of only eight such gold coins known to exist, with most housed in museums, according to CNN. It’s estimated the coin was minted in about 1257. 

Gregory Edmund, a collector for Spink & Son, spotted the coin on Facebook. He told CNN, “this was one of his first prospecting days in many, many years, so he obviously couldn’t quite believe what he discovered,” referring to the finder. 


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Spink & Son is an auction house based in the U.K. and is now selling the rare gold coin with a valuation starting at $273,000. The coin could fetch as much as $546,000. 

The auction page also contains a message from the finder, who said the coin could have easily never been found.  

“Now it is protected for future generations to enjoy and it is truly humbling that I was its finder. Like every hobbyist who continues to dream, my wish that day came true, and I just happened to be the very fortunate one,” said the finder.  

The finder also went on to say that the market value of the coin is secondary compared to the information it’s yielded and will continue to bring about England’s first gold coinage.  

Under the U.K.’s Treasure Act of 1996, the finder of the gold coin is allowed to keep and sell it, as it’s not considered to be part of a wider discovery, according to CNN. 

The auction of “Henry III gold penny” will begin on Jan. 23. 


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