Coin found for first time in UK by metal detectorist sells for thousands

Mick will now share the proceeds with the Wiltshireland

A large gold coin found by a metal detectorist on a farm in Wiltshire has sold for £16,000.

Mick Edwards, 62, found the Portuguese coin on a farm near Etchilhampton in Wiltshire.

It comes from the reign of Manuel the First, between 1495 and 1521, and is the first of its kind to ever be found in Britain.

The coin - which is 36 millimetres in diameter and weighs around 30 grams - was estimated to fetch £30,000 but has sold for £16,000 at an auction in London today (29 September).

Mick will share the money with the Wiltshire landowner.

The coin sold for £16,000 at an auction in London

Mick, who lives in Peterlee in County Durham, said: “I was staying on the farm near Etchilhampton in Wiltshire with my wife after celebrating 35 years of marriage from the day before.

"So far I had only found some broken crotal bells, so I walked to the top of the field for a final effort before breakfast, taking just three more steps I received a clear signal which sounded like a large copper coin.

“I was dumbstruck and just sat looking at the coin unable even to breathe. I could see the cross on the coin and thought it was probably Spanish but later found out it was Portuguese from the Kings name Manuel."

Mick works as a Civil Servant and has been metal detecting for 10 years. He says he finds a sense of peace from the hobby.

"A lot of it is sort of wellbeing," he said. "Nobody to bother you around you, nobody - peace, quiet, tranquil and beautiful scenery.

"If you find an old Roman coin, you're probably the first person in 1600 years to touch that - that connectivity with the past is just something you can't buy."

Why the coin was in England remains a mystery.

Nigel Mills, from Noonans Auctioneers, said: "It was probably a trading coin but none have ever been found in Britain, so we've never had any examples to compare it to.

"It's very unusual."