Incredible collection of rare coins found buried in a field by metal detectorists sell for ‘life-changing’ £325,000

RARE coins believed to be from 1066 have sold at an auction for more than a whopping £325,000.

A collection of 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies discovered by two metal detectorists near Braintree in Essex, were sold at an auction for an eyewatering £325,560.

The coins sold for a whopping £325,560


The coins sold for a whopping £325,560Credit: PA
The 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies were worth 12 shillings 950 years ago


The 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies were worth 12 shillings 950 years agoCredit: PA
The coins were discovered near Braintree in Essex


The coins were discovered near Braintree in EssexCredit: PA

The coins, found by two opportunistic metal detectorists, are believed to be buried in 1066, the year of the battle between English and Norman armies for the throne of England.

An expert said there was a “tantalising possibility” that the reason they were not retrieved at the time was because their owner died in battle.

They were sold at Noonans Mayfair in London on Wednesday.

Wow, this has exceeded all our expectations.

Nigel Mills

The coins were expected to sell for no more than £180,000 with the proceeds of the hoard being shared between the two finders and the landowner.

Nigel Mills, Artefact and Coin expert at Noonans said: “The atmosphere in the packed saleroom was euphoric with bidders – in person and online – wanting to purchase just one example from this important collection.”

Colchester Museum and Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum purchased 16 of the 144 coins the two metal detectorists found.

The coins bought by the museums included two 11th-century Byzantine coins.

Late last year, the remaining coins were disclaimed and returned to the finders.

A rare single specimen from the Hastings mint topped the list when an online bidder bought it for £24,000 – four times its presale estimate.

Noonans Coin specialist Bradley Hopper said: “While the deposition of the Braintree Hoard might not relate directly to the events of 1066, the fact that it was never recovered surely did.

I came across a quarter with ‘two heads’ an expert said it may be worth $41,975 but could also be a ‘trick coin’

“Twelve shillings was a considerable sum of money, and its retrieval must have been prevented by some great personal misfortune; we cannot say with any certainty whether or not the Braintree hoard’s owner died fighting at Hastings, but it is a tantalising possibility.”

The two detectorists, who had been searching together for 20 years, had only found copper coins and crotal bells before.

However, their luck turned when their metal detector found a silver penny that was not recognisable.

Half a dozen more turned up in a 30-metre radius and that evening they realised they were rare pennies of Harold II.

Over the next few days around 70 more were found by slow and methodical use of the detectors.

This was repeated in 2020 with another 70 coins uncovered.

The landowners attended the sale and afterwards said: “We are delighted with the results which is a life-changing amount of money for the finders.”

Rare coins and valuable notes – is yours worth a mint?

The coins are believed to be from 1066, the year of the Battle of Hastings


The coins are believed to be from 1066, the year of the Battle of HastingsCredit: PA


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