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Gold coin found in chest of drawers by Tunbridge Wells widow sold for £300,000

December 7, 2012 in Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, World Coins

Friday, December 7, 2012 (http://www.kentnews.co.uk)

Queen Anne Vigo five guineas Gold Coin

Queen Anne Vigo five guineas Gold Coin

Coin was made with gold captured from Spanish galleons at the Battle of Vigo Bay

An old coin discovered by a widow clearing out her late husband’s chest of drawers has fetched almost £300,000 at auction.

The coin dates back to 1703 – when Queen Anne began her reign – and was made with gold captured from Spanish galleons at the Battle of Vigo Bay.

It is believed that less than 20 such coins are around today, with 15 of them in private ownership. Only six have been offered for sale in the UK in the past 50 years. It was expected to fetch around £120,000.

The widow, who wishes to remain anonymous, took it to auctioneers Gorringes in Tunbridge Wells along with two silver coins.

Upon inspection, staff member Leslie Gillham realised the gold coin was in fact one of the most collectable and expensive pieces in history – a Queen Anne Vigo five guineas.

Mr Gillham said he was left speechless when he realised the importance of the discovery.

He said: “When the lady came in I was not wonderfully enthusiastic as most aren’t worth anything.

“She gave me two silver crowns and I thought ‘shame you haven’t got any gold coins’. Then she produced the five guinea piece which made my eyes nearly pop out of my head. My first thought was it must be a fake.”

But after a second opinion, the coin, which is in ‘very fine condition’, was deemed genuine and valued at £80,000-£120,000.

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