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Treasure hunter and farmer stunned as coin haul makes shy of £100,000

PUBLISHED: 18:22 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:22 04 December 2019

Builder and metal detectorist Don Crawley and an unnamed farmer are taking home a share of £90,000 following an Anglo-Saxon coin haul  Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

Builder and metal detectorist Don Crawley and an unnamed farmer are taking home a share of £90,000 following an Anglo-Saxon coin haul Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

A Suffolk treasure hunter and a lucky farmer have been left overjoyed after a haul of coins found in Suffolk sold for big money at a London auction.

The coins, discovered in an undisclosed location in Suffolk, dated back to the reign of Ethelred II  Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PAThe coins, discovered in an undisclosed location in Suffolk, dated back to the reign of Ethelred II Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

The haul of 99 Anglo-Saxon silver pennies was discovered by local builder Don Crawley in 2017, and went under the hammer on Wednesday, December 4 with an estimate of between £30,000 and £50,000.

But the pair - who had already agreed to split the profits 50/50 - were set to be in even more luck after it sold for a whopping £90,000.

The surprise haul was made even more fortuitous after Mr Crawley, 50, revealed it was his first time searching the unnamed farmer's land.

Originally discovering 93 of the coins after receiving a strong signal from his Deus metal detector, a finds liaison officer from the British Museum arrived and helped him recover another six coins.

The coins made three times to low estimate at Dix Noonan Webb in London  Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PAThe coins made three times to low estimate at Dix Noonan Webb in London Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

Human remains were also found in the field alongside the pennies.

The excavation carried out on the site also revealed it to be a long forgotten Saxon church, which had been dismantled by the Normans in the 11th century.

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The coins were found to be silver pennies from the reign of Ethelred II, who reigned England from 978 to 1016.

Mr Crawley said: "I am totally amazed at today's auction and loved every minute!

"I will probably never experience anything like this again."

The coins, which came from several different mints, included a rare small cross mule from a London mint, which sold for more than thirteen times it's estimation - making a jaw-dropping £13,640.

It also included coins from a previously unrecorded mint in Louth, Lincolnshire - which fetched a healthy £17,360.

It is believed the hoard was buried by a pilgrim making penitence, worried about the impending apocalypse of the millennium.

Nigel Mills, antiquities specialist at Dix Noonan Webb Auctioneers, said: "This is a fantastic result for Don, and shows how the prices realised at auction for a newly found hoard can exceed everyone's expectations."

Earlier this year, a gold armorial ring once belonging to the Colman family of Brent Eleigh sold for £17,360 after being discovered on the shored of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

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