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Elated metal detectorist sells unearthed Portuguese gold coin for £16,000

A metal detectorist who unearthed an old gold coin was over the moon when it sold for £16,000 at an auction in London.

 

A very happy metal detectorist was celebrating yesterday, Friday, September 30, after an old gold coin he unearthed on a muddy field sold for £16,000 ( approx €18,220). It was initially expected to go for around £30,000 ( approx €34,170) at Noonan’s auction house in London.

Mick Edwards was enjoying a trip away on his 35th wedding anniversary when he decided to take a morning stroll with his metal detector around the fields of the farm they were staying at in Etchilhampton, near the town of Devizes in Wiltshire.

The 62-year-old civil servant from Peterlee, County Durham, explained: “I was staying on the farm near Etchilhampton with my wife after celebrating 35 years of marriage from the day before. I had only found some broken crotal bells, so I walked to the top of the field for a final effort before breakfast, taking just three more steps I received a clear signal which sounded like a large copper coin”.

“I was dumbstruck and just sat looking at the coin unable even to breathe”, he continued. “I could see the cross on the coin and thought it was probably Spanish but later found out it was Portuguese from the Kings name Manuel”. Mick has already agreed to split the proceeds with the Wiltshire landowner.

Mick’s discovery dates to between 1495 and 1521 and is believed to be the first of its kind ever dug up in Britain. A Latin inscription on the gold coin translates as: ‘In this sign shall we conquer’. It weighs around 30 grams and has a diameter of 36mm. The Portuguese coin was buried in about 10 inches of mud when Mick located it.

Nigel Mills, an expert from Noonan’s pointed out:  “In England, at this time, the largest gold coin was a Sovereign which weighed 15.3 grams so this coin is more than double that in weight, so would have had a value greater than two pounds”. The coin is thought to have been part of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama’s loot from Africa, as reported by metro.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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