Over 300 gold coins found in old sock sell for £118k at Hertfordshire auction
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Over 300 gold coins, many of which were digged out of a sock, sold for £118,000 at an auction held in Hertfordshire.
On Wednesday (17 January), Hansons Auctioneers, based in Royston, sold 331 gold sovereigns. These coins were discovered when an unnamed seller was clearing out their home.
Some date back as far as the 18th century, and many of them were found in an old sock lying around in the home. Staff from Hansons were sent to the home in Leicestershire to check a linen chest and right at the bottom, hidden among sheets, in pillowcases and an old sock were 331 gold coins.
A further investigation into the coins revealed some dated back as far as Queen Victoria’s reign, while others were developed in the 21st century.
Each coin was valued by the Hertfordshire company at between £300-£500, one buyer purchased the entire collection for £118,000.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “It was an amazing find, made after a client instructed us to clear a house. Our team are renowned for being thorough. They check over every inch of a house. It’s not just about fine or fragile objects on display, it’s the hidden items that are often the most valuable.
“These are found in drawers, wardrobes, cupboards, bags and, in this case, even an old sock. People have a multitude of hiding places. Sometimes it’s a case of hide and seek. In this case workers were checking through the attic and linen in a bedroom chest when the coins were discovered.
“You can imagine their amazement. First they saw the golden glint of one gold coin, then handfuls emerged. Some were hidden in a pillowcase and many others were tucked away in a sock. Our client was flabbergasted and delighted in equal measure. They had no idea the house contained a treasure trove of gold.
“You hear about people stashing cash under the bed but this was quite extraordinary. Normally gold of this value would have been kept locked away in a
safe or bank vault. The coins were most probably amassed over many years but no-one, aside from their late owner, knew they existed.
“The coins were in hot demand under the hammer because gold is sought after and prices are strong. The collection sparked a white glove sale, an auction term used when every single lot sells.”
Some of the coins were created during the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, which started in 1837. The earliest Queen Victoria sovereign was minted in 1846 while another was dated 1901, the year of her death. Other monarchs depicted on the coins through the centuries included King Edward VII, King George V and Queen Elizabeth II.
“It was like a walk through 300 years of history,” said Charles. “The collection captured the passage of time due to different monarchs represented on the
sovereigns. They also reminded us of the length of their reigns. Due to long periods on the throne, Victoria and Elizabeth’s coin profiles alter through the decades.”