Sheffield metal detection fan nets ‘find of a lifetime’

March 13, 2014 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Auctions, British Coins, Coins, Collecting, English Coins, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Pennies, Rare Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, Treasure, Treasure Hunting, World Coins

March 12th, 2014 (

A unique penny dating from the reign of King Stephen over 850 years ago has been found by a Sheffield metal detecting enthusiast.

The silver penny – which is expected to fetch up to £10,000 at auction, and rewrite the history of early English coinage – was found in a field.

The coin, which dates from a chaotic period of civil war, will be sold at auction in London on April 2.

“This is an extraordinary discovery,” said Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at specialist auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb. “It is tremendously exciting.”

The man who found the coin – a joiner from Sheffield who wants to remain anonymous – was searching a field near Nottingham, with the farmer’s permission, last November.

He had already found a few low-value coins and buttons when his detector bleeped again.

“I dug it out and immediately I knew it wasn’t the run of the mill stuff I usually get,” he said.

“When I got it home I ran it under the tap. I didn’t dare do anything else with it.”

The man recorded his find with the authorities and got in touch with experts who revealed the coin was issued by Robert de Ferrers, second Earl of Derby, in the early 1140s.

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