Suffolk hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins sells for £90k

image copyrightJAN STARNES
image captionAn auction spokeswoman said the coins originated from several different mints

A hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins discovered in a field by an amateur detectorist has fetched £90,000 at auction - three times its original estimate.

The collection, made up of 99 "silver pennies" thought to be 1,000 years old, was found buried on farmland in Suffolk in March 2017.

Among them is a rare "small cross mule" coin, which was sold to a European collector for £13,640 alone.

Detectorist Don Crawley said he was "totally amazed" at the outcome.

The hoard was found under the remains of a Saxon church believed to have been demolished soon after the Norman conquest in the 11th Century.

image copyrightDIX NOONAN WEBB
image captionThe coins were bought by collectors from across Britain and Europe

The coins may have been buried by a pilgrim who was making penitence and feared "the impending apocalypse of the Millennium," the auction house suggested.

Mr Crawley, a builder from Bucklesham, near Ipswich, said he made the find on his first visit to the field.

"After walking up an incline in the field, my detector gave off a strong signal and within a short space of time I had recovered 93 coins," he said.

"The finds officer was called in and they investigated the site which turned out to be a long-forgotten Saxon church."

image copyrightDIX NOONAN WEBB
image captionDetectorist Don Crawley found the hoard in a Suffolk field in 2017

Excavations carried out in the area later revealed human bones on the site.

The hoard was examined by experts at the British Museum, who verified it dated from the reign of Aethelred II (978-1016).

An auction spokeswoman said the coins originated from several different mints, including a previously unknown mint at Louth, Lincolnshire.

A rare coin from the Melton Mowbray mint also fetched £8,400.

The entire hoard was originally expected to fetch between £30,000 and £50,000 when it went under the hammer in 84 lots at Dix Noonan Webb auctioneers in London earlier.

Antiquities specialist, Nigel Mills, said the sale showed "how the prices realised at auction for a newly-found hoard can exceed everyone's expectations."

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