FOUND > King Richard III 'Battle Coin' Fetches $54,000

Discovered in Farmer's Field by Mother of Two

Mom finds rare coin linked to King and Historic Battle.

Updated December 13, 2017
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

LONDON – Dix Noonan Webb reports, a mother of two found a rare coin with links to King Richard III, and a historic battle. The coin has just fetched $54,000 (£40,800) at auction.

DROPPED BY A FLEEING SOLDIER?

The 500 year old coin, a gold Half Angel, is linked to the short 2-year reign of King Richard III. The coin was found just a few miles from a historic Battlefield where the King was violently killed.

The day Richard died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, on August 22, 1485, changed the course of English history.

The kings defeat ended the Wars of the Roses, which raged all across England during the latter half of the 15th century. The day also marked the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.

According to experts at Dix Noonan Webb, it's possible the coin may have belonged to one of Richard’s soldiers, and was dropped while fleeing the battlefield after the loss.

The Half Angel coin, introduced in 1472, has an image on one side of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon. And appears to have received its name from being half the value of an earlier Angel coin, introduced in 1465.

THE DISCOVERY

The coin was discovered by Michelle Vall, a primary school teaching assistant, and mother of two. Michelle was taking part in a charity detecting rally at Monks Kirby, between Coventry and Leicester, in September this year, when she made the discovery.

In an interview with Dix Noonan Webb, she stated; “After detecting for two and a half hours in a farmer’s field, I got a signal,” she said. “The coin was deep down, about 16 inches below the surface, and the soil there is thick clay so it took a bit of digging out.”

“I spotted this glint of gold in the hole, although I obviously did not know exactly what it was at first. I put it in the palm of my hand and then I went back to the organisers’ tent. One of them identified it and people became very excited. That was when I realised that it was a Half Angel.”

WHY'S IT RARE?

According to Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb. Coins issued in the time of King Richard III are extremely rare, because his reign was so brief. This Half Angel, is one of a handful known to have survived from Richard’s two-year reign.

AUCTION DETAILS

The coin was auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb, in London, on December 13th, 2017. It was originally expected to fetch up to £15,000 ($20,000) in their auction of coins, historical medals and paper money, as Lot 964.

Christopher Webb, auctioneer, and head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb, said there was "considerable" interest as the coin sale began.

Bidding started at £17,000 and escalated quickly into a fierce bidding war. The fight drove the price to twice the estimate. When the hammer fell the final price paid by an anonymous buyer was £40,800 ($54,833) after buyers premium.

Proceeds from the sale will be split by the finder, Michelle, and the landowner.

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