Welsh Man Loses Keys, Finds Medieval Silver Coins

July 31st, 2013 by

One of the 14 coins found in Welsh farmland (Shropshire Star)

When farmer Ifor Edwards lost his keys on his property near Whitchurch, Wales, he never could have imagined the outcome. Seeking help to find his keys, he contacted the Wrexham Heritage Society, whom he knew had access to metal detectors. Mr. Cliff Massey, an 83 year-old member of the Society came out the Edwards’ farm to see if he could find them.

He found the keys, which unfortunately had had an encounter with a mower before their recovery. Massey also found fourteen medieval silver coins, ranging from the reigns of Edward III to Henry VI of “War of the Roses” fame.

“It is such a shock, you just can’t quite believe it,” Mr Edwards said. “You realise those coins were there before they ever found America or anything.”

“You just can’t believe you’re holding something that is 600 and something years old,” he said. “We only bought the land three years ago and nothing like this has ever been found before.”

The coins are in very good condition, and while they have not been professionally appraised, it is thought they are worth between $700 and $800 each. Their appeal is increased because they have not been clipped or shaved. Many coins this age had had the edges clipped or the rims shaved in order to steal a bit of precious metal, then use the coin in commerce at face value.

John Gittins, the local coroner who presided over the inquest of the coins has declared them treasure. They will now be appraised and sent to the British Museum, which can either purchase the coins, or release them for purchase by another UK museum. The local Wrexham County Borough Museum has already expressed interest in the coins. Mr. Edwards, the landowner, and Mr Massey, the discoverer, will split the proceeds of the sale.