Precious Metals

Most Valuable Coin Finds: Metal Detectorists, Treasure Hunters, Unexpected Stumbles, and More

Most of us have dreamt of finding a buried treasure, but rarely do we do anything about it. However, some actual people have found a treasure when they least expected it.

Many times amateur metal detectorists search for coins for fun, or people search for the proverbial buried treasure. Still, some people have stumbled upon unexpected treasures while remodeling old houses, rummaging through old inherited estates, or even while hiking through nature.

People with metal detectors search and find exciting, unexpected, historically significant, and valuable coins worldwide, but more prominently in the UK and the northern parts of Europe. Here we’ll discuss the most exciting and valuable coins people have found in unexpected places.

Most Valuable Coins Found by Metal Detectorists

  • Henry III Gold coin found in a Devon field

An amateur metal detectorist who just recently picked up his forgotten metal detector was taking a stroll in a field in Devon on 26 September 2021.

All his previous finds were silver coins, gold rings, or iron pieces, but that day, he found a gold coin that was later determined to date from 1257, featuring Henry III, and is one of eight known in existence and the first one discovered in 260 years. The coin was sold at auction by Spink & Son, and it fetched £540K in January 2022.

  • Medieval Coins in a cornfield in Poland

A Polish archeologist who worked on a treasure find from 1935 returned to the field in late 2020, where the first treasure was found, and he discovered another treasure trove.

The new find was a ceramic vessel with about 6500 gold and silver coins and gold rings. Some of the rings bear inscriptions in Cyrillic, and most date to 1105, at the time of the first royal family of Poland.

  • Rare Gold Coins along the Florida Coast

A teen was diving and treasure salvaging near the coast of Vero Beach, Florida, where in August 2021, he came upon a rare gold coin from 1715, which is believed to be a part of the Spanish Treasure Fleet.

The coin was a part of the Treasure Fleet of 12 ships, 11 of which were lost in a hurricane and sunk near the Florida Coast, a section even today known as the Treasure Coast.

  • Thousands of coins were discovered in a field in Somerset, England

A pair of metal detectorists made the discovery of a lifetime when looking for treasure in January 2019. They discovered a hoard of ancient coins that were estimated to be worth around $6 million. The couple donated the 2571 coins that were Anglo-Saxon and Norman in origin to the British Museum.

Coins Discovered in Unexpected Places

Now let’s see some of the impressive finds that were discovered in places you would never expect to find treasure:

  • 264 Gold coins in a cup

A couple from Ellerby, North Yorkshire, renovated their house, and while digging out their floors in July 2019, they found a cup filled with 264 gold coins. It turned out that the coins dated from 1610 to 1727 and contacted the auction house Spink & Son.

Upon closer investigation, the gold coins were traced as belonging to a prominent and wealthy family from Hull, England, who were merchants in the 1700s. The coin collection contained several unique and extremely rare coins and was sold at auction for an impressive $852,380.

  • Gold Coins discovered in the walls of a French mansion

Renovations of an old French mansion in October 2019 brought an exciting discovery – the renovators found a hidden metal box and a pouch within the walls and beams of the mansion.

These contained rare gold coins minted at the time of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV; a total of 239 gold coins were discovered. The coins were estimated to be worth about €300K but sold at auction for $1.2 million.

  • A rare 1969-S Lincoln Cent found in a jar of change

The 1969-S Lincoln cent is exceedingly rare, as it features a mistake where the mint mark is doubled, and most of these coins were confiscated by the US Secret Service, thinking they were counterfeit.

Still, few remain in circulation, and a lucky mom from Texas found one while sorting a roll of coin change. The coin was graded at AU-55 and was valued at about $24,000.

  • A 1943 Lincoln Cent kept in the pocket for about 70 years

Most pennies look ordinary, but there are some special ones. In 1943, the shortage of raw materials was the reason some pennies were struck from bronze, and Don Lutes got one copper-colored penny as a change while in high school in 1947, and he kept the coin, not knowing its actual worth. Shortly before he died in 2018, he had the coin appraised, and Heritage sold it for an incredible $204,000.

The Bottom Line: Real Treasures Wait to Be Discovered

There is no way to predict how many coins are lost, hidden, or left for people to find. As you can see above, many valuable coins were discovered in unexpected places or were discovered by mistake and have brought impressive prices.

Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find a rare coin worth real money. However, please do your research and gather as much knowledge as possible before you make a decision on buying and selling rare coins. You will find this and much more on our blog so make sure you follow us for regular updates on the world of investments.

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