Suffolk treasure hunter’s silver coin haul to go under the hammer
- Credit: PA
A Suffolk treasure hunter and a lucky farmer are set to split the profits when a hoard of Anglo-Saxon silver coins goes under the hammer.
The hoard of 99 silver coins - believed to be more than 1,000 years old - were found by 50-year-old builder Don Crawley from Bucklesham at the site of a forgotten Saxon church in 2017.
Mr Crawley, who had not visited the site before, found 99 Anglo-Saxon coins and further excavation uncovered human bones.
The Suffolk farmer who owns the site did not wish to reveal further details of its location.
After examination from experts at the British Museum, the coins were found to date back to the reign of King Ethelred II, known as Ethelred the Unready. He ruled England from 978 to 1016.
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The hoard numbers 81 pennies and 18 cut halfpennies of two types, Crux and Long Cross.
Auctioneers say this means they were buried between 997 and 1003, and possibly in 999 as penitence when the new millennium raised fears of a judgment day.
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Two of the pennies have been folded in half, which is regarded as a vow to a saint.
The British Museum considered buying the coins but decided to disclaim them last month, the auctioneers said.
The hoard will be sold by Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) in Mayfair between December 4 and 5, with the proceeds split between finder Mr Crawley and the farmer on a 50/50 basis.
It has a pre-auction estimate of £30,000 to £50,000.
DNW's antiquities specialist Nigel Mills said: "We are extremely pleased to be offering this hoard, which included two rare mints - Melton Mowbray and a new previously unrecorded mint.
"The coin reads Dreng mo Lude, which translates as Dreng moneyer in Louth, which is in Lincolnshire.
"At this time, over 86 mints were operating around the country, with up to 100 different moneyers at the larger mints like London."
Mr Crawley is not the only lucky hobbyist to make a great find in Suffolk soil since the turn of the century, with car mechanic Micael Darke having discovered 840 Iron Age gold starters in a village near Wickham Market in 2008.
The haul later sold to the Ipswich Museum for £316,000.