A rare 14th century 'leopard' coin worth $185,000 was found by an amateur metal detectorist in a field. 'I did the gold dance,' he said.
- An amateur metal detectorist found a rare gold florin dating back to 1344 in a Norfolk field.
- Retired scientist Andy Carter, 65, told The Guardian that he "just got lucky" in finding the coin.
This week, a rare gold "leopard" coin dating back to the 14th century sold for £140,000 (around $185,000) at an
It was sold on Tuesday to a private UK buyer, according to a press release from auction house Dix Noonan Webb.
The coin was discovered by Andy Carter, 65, a retired research scientist from Norfolk, England, while he was using a metal detector in a field in 2019.
"I just felt numb when I found it," Carter told The Guardian. "And then I did the gold dance."
Carter told the paper that he "just got lucky" in finding the coin, having taken his metal detector out most weekdays after retiring four years ago.
He said he found the coin while searching a farmer's field with about 30 other detectorists during a charity day, also known as a rally.
"There were only three of us still looking – everyone else was packing up. The coin was covered in mud, about 10 inches down," Carter told The Guardian.
"When I brushed off the soil, I saw the hind leg of a big cat. I thought: 'It can't be a leopard – they're as rare as hen's teeth.' I called one of the experts over, and his eyes were on stalks."
It had a face value of three shillings or 36 silver pennies, which would have been roughly a month's salary for the average person at the time.
It dated back to January 1344 and was in circulation for just seven months before being withdrawn, the auction house said.
King Edward III introduced the gold florin to facilitate trade with Europe.
Nigel Mills, a consultant at Dix Noonan Webb, said in a press release that the coin was "in very fine condition" and that only five were in existence.
Carter said it was a "life-changing" amount of money and that he was "delighted" at how well the coin sold, according to a press release from the auction house.
The metal detectorist said he would split the winnings with the landowner where he found the coin.
"My partner would like a new kitchen, and I have always dreamt of getting a Land Rover Defender. Not sure where I will park it, though!" Carter said.
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