Gold coins found hidden under kitchen of North Yorkshire home sell for £750,000

The find of over 260 coins is one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain. Credit: Spink

A stash of gold coins found under the kitchen floor of a North Yorkshire home has sold for more than £750,000 at auction.

The collection, which included more than 260 coins, was unearthed by a couple in Ellerby in 2019 while they were renovating their kitchen.

Dating from 1610 to 1727, they belonged to a Hull merchant family and were estimated to fetch £250,000. But they sold for £754,000.

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said the treasure trove was "extraordinary, rare and really exciting". One coin alone fetched £62,400.

He told ITV News that bids had been made from buyers all around the world, including Australia and America.

Mr Edmund said: "I've been an auctioneer for four or five years now, but this is just one of those events that you can't quite imagine happening.

"It's so rare to have the opportunity to study such a large hoard of coins frozen in time from the early 18th Century."

The coin hoard in situ. The couple were putting a new floor in when they made the find. Credit: Spink

Coins can be declared treasure and become crown property if two or more are found and are at least 300 years old, but because the youngest coin was only 292 years old, the collection couldn't be ruled as treasure.

This meant the couple were declared the official owners of the hoard and could put it up for sale.

Mr Edmund added: "The estimate was £200,000 to £250,000, but when we made that estimate we neglected to think about the genuine, raw passion that people had for the story behind it."

The original owners of the coins are thought to have been Joseph and Sarah Fernley-Maisters, who married in 1694.

The Maisters were one of the most influential merchant family in Hull from the late 16th to 18th centuries.

They traded iron ore, timber and coal, and several generations of the family served as Members of Parliament in the early 1700s.

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