Treasure Hunter Finds Unique 1,200 Year-Old Silver Anglo Saxon Coin

April 17th, 2014 by

Aethelberht-silver-coin

CoinWorld has the fascinating story of a truly unique Anglo Saxon silver penny discovered by a Sussex metal detectorist last March. The silver penny is only the fourth coin ever discovered from the reign of King Æthelberht II of East Anglia, and bears a design unique from the previous three.

Darrin Simpson, a pest exterminator, had been out only an hour last March with his metal detector when he was caught in a hailstorm. In the middle of hurrying for shelter, his metal detector went off. Something caused Simpson to stop and dig the contact while being pelted with hail, and he found the history-making coin six to eight inches deep.

Some historians have speculated that this coin (or more accurately, the design of this coin) may have led to Æthelberht’s beheading by King Offa of Merica. Offa was apparently the overking of the area, and Æthelberht minting a coin with “Rex” following his name may have been considered a sign of insubordination that had to be dealt with.

The coin will be one of the highlights of the Dix Noonan Webb auction of British and world coins on June 11, in London. It has an estimate of from £15,000 to £20,000 ($25,000 – $34,000).

Complete story at CoinWorld