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Metal detectorist’s 900-year-old coin set to reach for stars at auction

Posted on 30/09/2020 in Press Coverage

A rare Henry I silver penny is set to reach for the stars in Hansons' October 26-27 Historica, Coins, Banknotes and Artefacts Auction because it’s nearly 1,000 years old.

The coin was struck in 1106, making it 914 years old. It depicts the king pointing at a comet. Coincidentally, the Neowise comet was travelling through our skies when it was found by a teenage metal detectorist. Its guide price is £3,000-£3,500.

The Normans were fascinated by the stars so astronomical symbols appear on coins. The pointing bust penny was struck after a victory at Tinchebrai, 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.

The coin normally has three stars to the right of the bust which may represent the three comets associated with Norman victorie


Another star lot is a gold James II Guinea from 1687, above, estimate £3,000-£5,000.It bears a Latin inscription which translates as ‘James the Second, by the Grace of God’ and on the reverse ‘King of Great Britain, France and Ireland’.

Historica expert Adam Staples will offer free valuations on Wednesday, October 7, 10am-3pm, at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, DE65 6LS. Coin and banknote expert William Hayward offers free valuations at Etwall Auction Centre on Wednesdays, 10am-4pm. Entries are invited until October 10 for our next Historica and Coins Auction.

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