United Kingdom

Ultra-rare 900-year-old coin found in a farmer's field is set to fetch up to £7,000 at auction 

An exceptionally rare 900-year-old coin found in a farmer's field could fetch £7,000 at auction.

The silver penny was discovered by John Denham, 64, beneath four inches of soil on a metal-detecting hunt with his sons Simon, 39, and Steven, 31.

It was issued by Henry of Anjou between 1139 and 1148 during 'the Anarchy' civil war as he tried to gain control of south-west England. 

The silver penny (pictured) was issued by Henry of Anjou between 1139 and 1148 during 'the Anarchy' civil war as he tried to gain control of south-west England 

He was later crowned Henry II in 1154.

Landscaper Mr Denham, who found the coin in home town Wallingford, Oxfordshire, last month said: 'We thought this penny might be something special.

'But once it had been identified and recorded, we were still surprised to learn how valuable it was.

'The field where I found it had recently been ploughed and planted. Many ancient coins get damaged by farming machinery. 

'We're very excited to see what this penny achieves at auction.'

It was discovered by John Denham, 64, beneath four inches of soil on a metal-detecting hunt with his sons Simon, 39, and Steven, 31, in Wallingford, Oxfordshire

Simon, also a landscaper, added: 'It's an important part of Wallingford's ancient history. It's survived for nearly 1,000 years and it's in remarkable condition.' 

It has been given a guide price of between £6,000 to £7,000 by London-based Hansons Auctioneers ahead of its sale on Monday.

Expert Adam Staples said records showed only nine other coins of Henry's 'Round Cap' type – two cut halfpennies, five incomplete coins and two full pennies.

He added: 'John's coin is the only complete example recorded where both the mint town and name of the moneyer can be read.

It has been given a guide price of between £6,000 to £7,000 by London-based Hansons Auctioneers ahead of its sale on Monday

'The reverse of the penny tells us that it was made by Robertus at the Wallingford mint, a moneyer who was not previously known to have minted coins there. 

'This makes it excessively rare.'

Any proceeds from the sale will be split 50/50 with the landowner. In August, the Denhams discovered a Saxon brooch. 

And over the years, they have dug up silver hammered coins, Roman artefacts and an ancient papal bulla – a lead seal attached to a Catholic document to guarantee authenticity

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