‘One hell of a piggybank’: Couple finds cache of 400-year-old coins under kitchen

The find of over 260 coins is one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain, and certainly for the 18th century period. Courtesy / Spink & Son

A lucky couple in the U.K. made an astonishing discovery hiding under the floorboards of their kitchen while undergoing a house renovation, and they could become much richer because of it.

According to Spink & Son auction house, the unnamed couple found a cup of rare gold coins buried under their North Yorkshire kitchen, and they’re aiming to sell them for almost CA$380,000.

The cup, described to CNN as being no larger than a can of pop, contained more than 260 coins dating from 1610 to 1727.

Gregory Edmund, an auctioneer with Spink & Son, said the lot of coins has an estimated value of £150,000(GBP) in spending power.

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“It is a wonderful and truly unexpected discovery from so unassuming a find location,” Edmund said in a press release.

“This find of over 260 coins is also one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain, and certainly for the 18th century period,” he added.

More than 260 coins were found in a cup no bigger than a can of pop. Courtesy / Spink & Son

According to The Times, the couple made the discovery in July 2019. They first thought they had hit an electric cable, but once they pried away more floorboards and concrete, they discovered the cup.

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The coins date from 1610 to 1727 and covered the reigns of James I and Charles I through to George I.

Local British publications say the coins “almost certainly” belonged to the Fernley-Maisters, an influential mercantile family who traded iron ore, coal and timber before becoming lawmakers in the early 1700s.

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Their family line dwindled soon after the couple died, which is presumably why the coins were never retrieved, the auction house said.

In the press release, Edmund says the Fernley-Maisters family “clearly distrusted the newly-formed Bank of England, the ‘banknote’ and even the gold coinage of their day because they (chose) to hold onto so many coins dating from the English Civil War and beforehand.”

“Why they never recovered the coins when they were really easy to find just beneath original 18th century floorboards is an even bigger mystery, but it is one hell of a piggy bank,” he added.

The coins will go to auction on Oct. 7. It appears each coin will be auctioned off individually.


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