Historic coins found by teenage metal detectorists to be sold at auction

The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering
The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering
16:35pm, Tue 20 Oct 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Two nearly 1,000-year-old coins dug up this year by two unrelated teenagers may be worth thousands of pounds each.

Catering apprentice Reece Pickering, 17, of Great Yarmouth, found a Saxon coin in farmers’ fields in Topcroft, Norfolk.

Schoolboy Walter Taylor, 16, who lives near Ongar, uncovered a Henry I silver penny in a field in south Essex.

Both boys’ finds are to be sold at auction as part of a two-day online event by Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers starting on October 26.

Reece’s coin has a guide price of £2,500 to £3,000, while Walter’s is £3,000 to £3,500. Walter’s coin is valued so highly because it is rare to find a Henry I coin in such good condition.

Reece was metal detecting with his 41-year-old father, Jonny Crowe, in August when he found the Harold II silver penny dating back to 1066, the year of the Battle of Hastings.

Reece Pickering coin find in field Aug 2020 – credit Jonathan Crowe Hansons

Welder Mr Crowe said the coin has been recorded with The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and is the only coin of its kind known to exist.

“The day Reece found it we were out metal detecting in a couple of farmers’ fields,” he said.

“We’d only come across rubbish.

“The next minute I heard Reece shouting and waving from the other side of the field.

“I went over and there he was with his find.

“He kicked the dirt away, picked up the coin and gave it a wipe.

“We knew it was special.”

He said Reece, who was 16 when he found the coin, had introduced him to metal detecting and “loves his history”.

Reece said: “It was pretty special to find.

“I wasn’t expecting to come across such a scarce and remarkable coin.

“It’s a day I will remember forever.

“I can’t imagine finding something as special as this again.

“You just never know what’s beneath your feet.”

Meanwhile, in Essex, Walter discovered a Henry I silver penny dating back to 1106.

The teenager, who is studying GCSEs at Brentwood County High School in Essex, made the find in September when he was 15.

“I’d been out metal detecting with my dad and uncle for about for four hours when I found it,” he said.

“I was constantly digging hot rock (mineralised rock) but finding nothing.

“Then the register on my detector rose from 26 to 76.

“The coin was buried about four inches deep in the ground.

“I thought it was a silver penny but when I swiped the mud off it, I saw a face staring at me.

“I knew it could be a good one and sent the picture to an expert. It’s really rare.

“I’ve been metal detecting since I was four and this is my biggest find.”

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. That saying should certainly come true at auction for Reece and Walter

The coin depicts Henry I pointing at a comet.

The Normans were fascinated by the stars so astronomical symbols feature on their coins.

The penny was struck after a victory at Tinchebrai in Normandy in 1106.

The battle was between invaders led by King Henry I of England and the Norman army of his elder brother, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “What incredible historical finds.

“There is forgotten treasure beneath our feet, and these boys have found two fine examples.

“Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

“That saying should certainly come true at auction for Reece and Walter.”

Both coins have gone through the correct reporting procedures and any funds made will be split 50/50 with the landowners, the auction house said.

Sign up to our newsletter