Metal detector enthusiast is hoping to coin it in after centuries old discovery

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A metal detector enthusiast is hoping for a major cash boost after an anniversary trip unearthed a rare coin.

Mick Edwards, from Peterlee, was on a 35th wedding anniversary trip with his wife in Wiltshire when he found a gold Portuguese 10 Cruzados piece from the 1495-1521 reign of Manuel I.

It was the first ever to be found in Britain and expected to be sold for between £20,000 and £30,000 at Mayfair auctioneers Noonans on Thursday, September 29.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mick, 62, made the find on July 5 – the day after his anniversary – near Etchilhampton.

Mich Edwards.Mich Edwards.
Mich Edwards.

The civil servant has been metal detecting for a decade.

He said: “I was staying on a farm with my wife after celebrating 35 years of marriage from the day before.

“It was 6am and, until then, I had only found some broken crotal bells.

"So I walked to the top of the field for a final effort before breakfast and got a very clear signal.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The 10 Cruzados piece.The 10 Cruzados piece.
The 10 Cruzados piece.

After digging down ten inches, he used a probe to locate the signal and saw the edge of a coin at the bottom of the hole.

To his astonishment it was a huge gold coin 36 millimetres in diameter and weighing over 35 grams.

He added: “I was dumbstruck and just sat looking at the coin unable even to breathe. I could see the cross on the coin and thought it was probably Spanish but later found out it was Portuguese.”

The massive coin is a 10 Cruzados piece and struck at Lisbon with gold recovered by Vasco de Gama from his voyages to Africa and India.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mick says he will be sharing the proceeds from the sale with the landowner and his wife.

Nigel Mills, consultant in artefacts and antiquities at Noonans, said: “The coin features the crowned royal arms of Portugal and the cross of the order of Christ on the reverse with the latin legend translated ‘In this sign shall we conquer.

“In England at this time the largest gold coin was a Sovereign which weighed 15.3 grams so this coin is more than double that in weight.”

Related topics: