Northampton

Gold sovereigns and silver bars go under the hammer

Gold sovereigns Image copyright J P Humbert
Image caption Each coin was valued at about £200

A hoard of gold sovereigns and silver bars found behind a sofa has sold at auction for more than £30,000.

The treasure trove was found by the auctioneer during a routine house clearance in Northamptonshire on 25 January.

More than 100 22-carat gold sovereigns and 16 solid silver bars - each no bigger than a mobile phone - were packed into a zipped-up suitcase.

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert described the find as "incredible".

The collection went under the hammer at J P Humbert Auctions in Whittlebury on Tuesday.

Every piece of the entire collection was sold separately with individual bids ranging from £190 to £480.

Image copyright J P Humbert
Image caption The gold sovereigns depict Queen Elizabeth II one one side and St George slaying a dragon on the reverse

All the Elizabeth II sovereigns, dating from 1958 to 1967, depict St George slaying a dragon on the reverse side.

Each 0.3oz (8g) coin was valued at more than £200.

Image copyright J P Humbert
Image caption The solid silver bars were recovered in a suitcase along with more than a hundred gold sovereigns

The 16 solid silver bars, weighing 2.2lb (1kg) each, are engraved by the Swiss bullion makers Metalor.

Mr Humbert said the house owner, who wants to remain anonymous, had made a casual reference to a suitcase behind the sofa containing gold.

He said: "I went to pick it up and I almost pulled my shoulder out of its socket, it was so heavy - so I had to drag it out unceremoniously.

"It was incredible. My eyes lit up - it was quite a find."

He said it was unusual for one person to have that many gold sovereigns in one place.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the "modern gold sovereign" which saw the traditional heraldic Tudor rose emblem on the reverse replaced with St George and the dragon for the first time.

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