Kitchen renovation leads lucky couple to discover rare gold coins worth over $800,000

A couple in England never imagined they were in for some luck while they working on a kitchen renovation. What they thought was just a piece of electrical cable was actually a gold disc filled with rare gold coins.

The couple were working on the kitchen floorboards of their 18th-century detached home where they lived for over ten years.

They thought they stumbled upon a piece of electrical cable but when they lifted it up, they found a cup as big as a can of Coke.

Rare coins found during a kitchen renovation
Source: Spink & Son

On a closer look, it was full of gold coins dating from 1610 to 1727. The couple was shocked and couldn’t believe what they just unearthed.

They called London auctioneers Spink & Son and a coin expert came to their property to examine the hoard.

The rare coins are believed to have belonged to Joseph Fernley and his wife Sarah Meister. They were importers of coal, timber, and iron ore.

Their latest generations were members of Parliament and served as Whig politicians. Fernley died in 1725 and Sarah passed away in 1745 in Ellerby.

Couple found rare coins while doing a kitchen renovation
Source: Spink & Son

Auctioneer and coin specialist Gregory Edmund was so amazed by the discovery and the history of the golden coins.

“It is a rare privilege for an auctioneer to be graced with a white glove sale (100% sold), but when the story of Joseph and Sarah Fernley and their misers millions came to my attention back in 2019, I just knew the story had to be told,” he said.

“The anonymous finders were absolutely staggered by the result. It dwarfed any pre-conceived expectations and set dozens of world records along the way.”

Rare gold coins found amidst a kitchen renovation
Source: Spink & Son

According to the auction house, Spink & Son, the 17th and 18th-century coins would be valued at about $113,010 and could be sold at an auction for $250,000. To the couple’s surprise, however, they were flogged for a whopping $852, 380.

The price increased as the listing got more public attention from international buyers mostly from Europe, Australia, and Japan. There were 372 registrants and dozens of successful collectors.

Twin-tailed coin
Source: Spink & Son

The most expensive piece sold was the “Unbelievable Mint Error” coin dated back to the 1720s. It was fascinating not only because it was gained during the reign of King George I but also because it had two tails instead of a head and a tail.

“This coin is a new world record for any ‘brockage’ mint error coin of any country ever sold at auction, besting a US gold dollar sold in Texas for $54,625 in October 2011,” Edmund said.

Another coin that caught the attention of buyers was A Charles II guinea from 1675. It has a spelling error in which the king’s Latin name was spelled CRAOLVS instead of CAROLUS. A Queen Anne Guinea from 1705 was also sold for over $3,000.

Rare gold coins discovered by a couple
Source: Spink & Son

“I have never seen a response to an auction like that before, and the results testify it, my provisional estimate was demolished three times over,” Edmund said. He also said that the sale was unique in so many ways.

“The story of the coins, the method of discovery, and the rare opportunity to buy them at auction. All that combined in a buoyant and energized market to create incredible new prices as the 24 coins of the Ellerby hoard found new homes,” he added.

Collectible coins
Source: Spink & Son

Edmund explained that it’s not really uncommon to sell rare coins at auctions but what makes the sale extraordinary was the history of the coins and their astounding discovery.

He also hopes that this won’t make people think of renovating their homes and start digging, in hopes of finding treasures.

“I do hope people think before ripping up their floors,” Edmund said.

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