Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Gold coin found in Devon field fetches £540k

Gold coin found in Devon field fetches £540k

A metal detectorist said it was "beyond belief" that a gold coin he found in a field last September fetched £540k at auction on Sunday.

Michael Leigh-Mallory found the Henry III gold coin, thought to have been made in 1257, near Hemyock in Devon.

"It's about the history for me, I'm so privileged to find a coin of this magnitude," he said.

Spink and Sons auctioneers said the UK-based buyer wants the coin to be shown at a museum.

Mr Leigh-Mallory made the find on 26 September 2021, on his first metal detecting search in more than ten years, having previously given up the hobby.

He said his previous biggest discoveries had been silver coins, but "90% of my finds are trash, from ring pulls to miscellaneous pieces of iron and other rubbish".

Recalling the day he struck gold he said: "This was my first piece of gold and I was in a state of shock.

"I remember the sun was shining over my shoulder.

"The coin was 4in (10cm) deep in a ploughed field and I put the trowel in and found this glinting piece of gold.

"I knew it was gold and medieval but I had no idea it was from Henry III."

Mr Leigh-Mallory, who made the find on his first attempt in more than ten years, said he would be getting a cut of the sale proceeds, but "it's not about the money, the find itself far outshines any finance".

He added: "I am over the moon that it will stay in the country.

"It could have gone anywhere in the world and now it will stay in the UK for future generations to enjoy".

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said the coin "captured people's attention" and the price had "soared to an incredible height".