England's 'First Ever Gold Coin' From Henry III Reign Auctioned For $720k

© Photo : Spink & SonHenry III gold coin
Henry III gold coin - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2022
The buyer, according to UK-based auctioneer, Spink and Sons, wants the coin to remain in the country and be displayed at a museum.
A gold coin dating back to the reign of Henry III (1216 to 1272) and deemed to be one of the "first" gold coins in England, has been sold for £540,000 (around $727,000).
It was metal detectorist Michael Leigh-Mallory who discovered the coin in a field last September. He might receive a cut of the sale proceeds, but, according to him, it is not the financial part of his discovery that brought him the greatest pleasure.
"It's about the history for me, I'm so privileged to find a coin of this magnitude," he said, cited by BBC. "I knew it was gold and medieval but I had no idea it was from Henry III."
According to Leigh-Mallory, it was his first field trip after years of having given up his hobby of metal detecting. He revealed that 90 percent of his findings were "trash ... from ring pulls to miscellaneous pieces of iron and other rubbish".
"This was my first piece of gold and I was in a state of shock," he said. "The coin was 4in (10cm) deep in a ploughed field and I put the trowel in and found this glinting piece of gold."
The coin that shows Henry III sitting on his throne appears to be the first one of its kind to be found in more than two centuries. He was king of England from 1216 until his death in 1272. During his reign, Henry III demanded that all payments be made in gold to subsidise major foreign projects, marking the first time the economy relied on gold coins rather than silver, which had been the main currency since Roman times.
As of now, only eight such coins are known to exist and they can be found in museums.
The buyer of the new discovery, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed a desire that the coin should remain in the United Kingdom and also be displayed at a museum, according to the BBC citing Spink auctioneers. This news particularly delighted Leigh-Mallory, who said he is "over the moon that it will stay in the country".
"It could have gone anywhere in the world and now it will stay in the UK for future generations to enjoy," he said.
Spink and Sons also revealed that a non-fungible token (NFT) for the coin has been sold separately, for £15,000 (around $20,000). The owner of the NFT was said to have bought the ownership rights (including commercial rights).
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