Unearthed Fortune: Couple Discovers £250,000 Worth of Gold Coins Concealed beneath Their Home of a Decade

A Yorkshire couple is on the verge of a £250,000 windfall after discovering a cache of gold coins beneath their kitchen floor.

The duo, who wish to remain anonymous, stumbled upon an astonishing collection of 264 coins while renovating their 18th-century home in Ellerby, North Yorkshire.

During the process of replacing their kitchen flooring, the couple unearthed a trove of 400-year-old coins neatly stowed within a metal can. These historic treasures were concealed beneath six inches of concrete.

Initially mistaking the can for ordinary electrical wiring, the homeowners were astounded to find it packed with valuable coins upon closer inspection. The container, roughly the size of a can of soda, yielded a bounty of unexpected wealth.

Among the discovered gold coins are specimens dating back to the years spanning from 1610 to 1727, encompassing the reigns of monarchs such as James I, Charles I, and George I. This diverse collection offers a glimpse into several significant periods of English history, showcasing coins minted during the rule of these notable sovereigns.

The anonymous couple unearthed a remarkable collection of 264 coins at their 18th-century detached property, as depicted in an image provided by Spink & Son.

Seeking expert opinion, the couple reached out to London auctioneers Spink & Son, who promptly visited their residence to assess the find.

Subsequent research unveiled that the coins were once possessed by the affluent Fernley-Maisters, a prominent merchant family hailing from Hull. Known for their involvement in the import and export of timber, coal, and iron ore, the Fernley-Maisters wielded significant influence, with later generations even holding seats in Parliament during the early 1700s.

The coins were amassed during the lifetime of Joseph Fernley and his spouse, Sarah Maister. Joseph passed away in 1725, while Sarah lived until the age of 80, passing away in 1745.

The upcoming auction features a rare James I Scotch double-crown among its highlights, as depicted in an image provided by Spink & Son.

Originally uncovered in July 2019, the coins are now poised to officially enter the auction circuit.

Experts estimate the combined value of the coins to be around £250,000, making this a significant find.

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund remarked, “This discovery is both fascinating and of immense importance. It’s exceedingly rare for hoards of English gold coins to become available for auction, and this collection of over 260 coins is among the largest recorded archaeological finds in Britain.”

He continued, “The circumstances of its discovery add to its allure. The owners stumbled upon the coins while renovating their home, initially mistaking the container for an electrical cable. It’s a truly serendipitous find, with the owners having no prior experience with metal detectors and simply intending to relay their floor.”

Among the discovered treasure trove was a ‘pattern bust’ James I laurel, as depicted in an image provided by Spink & Son.

Gregory Edmund, the auctioneer, recounted his visit to the couple in North Yorkshire shortly after the discovery, stating, “I rushed up to see them in North Yorkshire a few days after, and there were 264 gold coins in this cup – it is unfathomable, I have no idea how they managed to fit so many in that pot.”

He further remarked on the extraordinary span of time represented by the coins, ranging from 1610 to 1727, which is notably lengthy for a hoard. Edmund pondered the rationale behind burying such a substantial collection at the onset of the 18th century, a time when banking systems and paper currency were prevalent, suggesting that these coins might have represented everyday currency, perhaps buried and inexplicably left undiscovered by their affluent owner.

He concluded, “Its contents are hardly ‘mind-blowing’ – they simply reflect the £50 and £100 coins of day-to-day exchange buried and mysteriously never recovered by their wealthy owner. They’re not mint perfect coins, they are coins that have had a hard life.”

The upcoming auction features a rare Charles II guinea, notable for a spelling mistake, as depicted in an image provided by Spink & Son.

It is anticipated that this unique piece will fetch around £1,500 when it goes under the hammer.

The gold coins, pictured in the ground of the couple’s kitchen floor in Ellerby, offer a rare glimpse into the intricacies of the English economy during the early years of the Bank of England. The significant quantity of coins and the unique manner of their burial shed light on the prevailing sentiments toward the emerging concept of the banknote, revealing a notable degree of skepticism and distrust.

This unexpected discovery, originating from such an unassuming location, presents an extraordinary opportunity to delve into the complexities of historical economics. As a seasoned coin specialist, I can attest that such a find is unparalleled in living memory. It is therefore a tremendous privilege to thoroughly document and explore this hoard, ensuring that its significance is preserved for the enlightenment of future generations.

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