Couple Discovers Rare Coins in Home, Sell Them For Over $800,000

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Chonticha Vatpongpee / EyeEm via Getty Images)

Most people don’t expect to make money while doing home improvements. In fact, people usually go into DIY projects knowing that they’re about to sink some serious cash, time, and effort into the whole affair. At best, they’ll save a little money by doing things themselves. However, one English couple made international news when they found a stash of rare coins while doing some home repairs.

A couple in Ellerby, East Yorkshire, England decided to rip up and replace their kitchen floors in 2019. The couple set to work ripping up the floor that had been in place since the 18th century. Then, they spotted what they believed was a stray electrical cable, according to BBC. However, it didn’t take them long to discover that it wasn’t a conduit. It was a coin and there were many more.

The couple, who have elected to remain anonymous, found a pot about the size of a modern soda can. That can held over 250 rare gold coins dating from 1610-1727. Among the stash were pieces of misprinted currency that would drive the total price of the haul to astronomical heights.

The couple decided to take their find to an English auction house. They said that the stash, adjusted for inflation, would be worth about £100,000 at face value. However, the rarity of the coins and the history behind them made them worth much more to private collectors. All told, the couple’s find sold for a whopping $852,380 after fees. That dwarfed the auction house’s estimated price tag of just over $231,000.

George Edmund, an auctioneer and British coin expert said that the find represented “120 years of English history hidden in a pot the size of a soda can.”

Rare Coins Bring Big Money

Two of the pieces in the stash sported minting errors that drove up their value. One was a King George I “Brockage” coin. Brockage refers to a minting error in which the piece has two of the same side. In this case, both sides featured the “tails” design. That fetched just over $70,000.

There was also a coin minted under the reign of King Charles. In many official items, King Charles’ name was rendered in Latin as Carolus Rex. On this piece, the word Carolus was misspelled. It also brought the couple tens of thousands of dollars.

The Origin of the Haul

According to BBC, the stash belonged to the Fernley-Maisters, a family who lived in the home during the early 1700s. The family was involved in Baltic trading. To highlight how long the coins had been waiting to be found, they noted a brief timeline of the family. Joseph Fernley married Sarah Maister in 1694. Joseph died in 1725 at the age of 76. 20 years later, his widow passed away at the age of 80. The rest of their family line died out soon after.