A metal detectorist has tracked down a rare gold coin from Richard III’s reign near to the site of the Battle of Bosworth.
The Half Angel is one of just a handful of such coins that have survived from the king’s two-year reign.
It was discovered by Michelle Vall while she was taking part in a charity detecting rally in September at Monks Kirby, near the Bosworth Field. News of the discovery has just come to light.
The coin will be auctioned international coins, medals and jewellery specialist Dix Noonan Webb in London on December 13. It is expected to fetch up to Â£15,000.
Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “This is a very rare discovery that has miraculously survived in a field for more than five centuries.
â€œIts importance as a coin is enhanced by the tantalising possibility that it may have belonged to one of Richardâ€™s army, whose defeat at Bosworth ended the Wars of the Roses and ushered in the Tudor dynasty.”
Michelle, a 51-year-old primary school teaching assistant, from Blackpool, said: â€œAfter detecting for two-and-a-half hours in a farmerâ€™s field, I got a signal.
â€œThe coin was deep down, about 16 inches below the surface, and the soil there is thick clay so it took a bit of digging out.
“I spotted this glint of gold in the hole, although I obviously did not know exactly what it was at first. I put it in the palm of my hand and then I went back to the organisersâ€™ tent.
“One of them identified it and people became very excited. That was when I realised that it was a Half Angel.â€
Michelle has decided to sell the coin as, she said, it is “too valuable to keep”.
She added: â€œI did not want to keep it in a locked cupboard.
“I feel very privileged that I have found something so precious and historic.
“The memory of that day, the excitement not just of myself but also of other detectorists, when I found that beautiful, tiny, piece of historic gold will live with me forever.â€
The Half Angel gold coin was first introduced in 1472 and was half the value of the Angel coin.
The rare gold coin was discovered near the site of the Battle of Bosworth
Richard III issues of the coin are rare because his reign was so brief and there has always been a big interest in items from the controversial king’s rein particularly since his remains were discovered in Leicester in 2012.
It is possible that the coin might have belonged to one of Richardâ€™s soldiers fleeing from the battle that changed the course of English history.
Some Italian metal detectors found a coded message inside a WWII cartridge somewhere in Southern Tuscany. Gizmodo has the story.
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
As metal detectors become widely owned and hobbyists take up treasure hunting, inevitably more and more major finds keep coming to light.
An amateur treasure hunter who uncovered one of the largest hoards of Anglo Saxon coins ever found in Britain – worth Â£1million – almost missed the dig because he couldn’t afford the petrol.
Paul Coleman, 59, persuaded his son and a friend to join him on the excavation on farmland in Lenborough, Buckinghamshire just before Christmas so he could split the Â£45 cost for the journey.
But the unemployed father-of-two hit the jackpot when he dug up the pristine collection of more than 5,000 silver coins made in the reigns of Ethelred the Unready (978-1016) and Cnut (1016-1035).
It is thought that the find could be connected to a mint established by Ethelred at nearby Buckingham and which remained active during the time of Cnut.
The 5,251 – and a half – coins were in a lead-lined container buried two feet under ground. Only some have been properly cleaned but all have proved to be in excellent condition.
The expedition â€“ in Lenborough, Buckinghamshire â€“ was an annual end-of-year Christmas rally for members of the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club. …
[T]he find, which has been sent to experts at the British Museum for analysis, could be worth around Â£1million.
Simon Keynes, professor of Anglo Saxon at Cambridge University, said the collection â€˜straddled an extraordinary period of historyâ€™ during which the Vikings took control of England.
He added: â€˜The question is, how do we account for the composition of this hoard? Is it a hoard of a Viking â€“ his accumulated wealth â€“ or is it something else? Only half of the coins have been cleaned so far â€“ the eventual date range could prove to be much more expansive.
â€˜Until then, the hoard could be difficult to explain, but it is certainly an extraordinary find.â€™
Read the whole thing.
Archaeology, Britain, England, Frome, History, Metal Detecting, Roman Coin Hoard, Somerset, Treasure
A man with a metal detector has made one of the largest finds of Roman coins in Britain.
The hoard of around 52,000 coins dating from the third century AD was found buried in a field near Frome in Somerset.
The coins were in a huge jar just over a foot below the surface, located by Dave Crisp from Devizes in Wiltshire.
Archaeologists believe the hoard, which sheds light on the economic crisis and coalition government in the 3rd century under Emperor Carausius, will rewrite the history books. …
It is thought the Â£250,000 find – known as the Frome Haul – represents the biggest single haul ever unearthed in Britain.
The hoard is one of the largest ever found in Britain, and will reveal more about the nation’s history in the third century, said Roger Bland, of the British Museum.
One of the most important aspects of the hoard is that it contains a large group of coins of Carausius, who ruled Britain independently from AD 286 to AD 293 and was the first Roman emperor to strike coins in Britain.
The hoard contains over 760 of his coins, making it the largest group of his coins ever found.
It is estimated the coins were worth about four years’ pay for a legionary soldier.
Carausius was a Roman naval officer who seized power in 286 and ruled until he was assassinated in 293.
‘The late third century A.D. was a time when Britain suffered barbarian invasions, economic crises and civil wars,’ Bland said.