Metal detector enthusiast discovers rare Anglo-Saxon coin worth £200,000

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A metal detector enthusiast has struck gold after they unearthed a rare Anglo-Saxon coin.

The discovery was made in the south-west of England and could reach between £100,000 and £200,000 at auction.

The Gold Penny or Mancus of 30 Pence has been dated to the reign of the West Saxon King Ecgberht (771 to 839 AD), reports the Daily Express.

Experts believe it could be the only Anglo-Saxon gold coin held privately with seven others looked after at the British Museum in London, with another held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The coin will feature as part of an auction on September 7 and 8 at Dix Noonan Webb in its sale of'Coins and Historical Medals'.

Although the coin was found in West Dean, on the border of Wiltshire and Hampshire, the auctioneers believe the coin was forged at a West Saxon mint, possibly at Southampton or Winchester.

One side was stamped with the word "ECGBEORHT REX" (Ecgberht King) and a monogram of the world "SAXON".

According to Peter Preston-Morley, Head of Coin Department at Dix Noonan Webb, the coin was minted from high-purity gold, with very few, natural impurities.

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An analysis carried out earlier in June this year shows trace amounts of silver and copper – 2.8 and 0.6 percent respectively.

Mr Preston-Morley said: "This composition is consistent with that of natural gold which has been neither refined nor artificially alloyed.

"Perhaps of more significance, the composition of the Ecgberht mancus falls within the same range as other medieval coins reported by Dr Gareth Williams and Dr Michael Cowell in 2009."

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