Secret hoard of 1,000 historic coins found hidden in late businessman’s home fetches nearly £21k at auction

A late businessman left behind a ‘valuable gift’ for his family who discovered a secret hoard of historic coins squirrelled away around his home.
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A secret treasure trove of more than 1,000 historic coins found hidden in shoe boxes at a late businessman’s home has fetched nearly £21,000 at auction. The incredible collection was discovered by the man’s stunned wife and daughter as they were going through his belongings following his death last autumn.

The coins were kept in the bottom of a wardrobe and inside a locked desk drawer at the family’s semi-detached property in Luton. The hoard was found scattered across the home included a William III crown dating back to 1696 and a gold Edward VII £2 coin from 1902.

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The man’s widow, who has not been named, decided to auction the collection after stumbling across the coins while decluttering the house a few months ago. They were given an estimated price of around £17,500 but exceeded expectations to fetch just under £21,000 at Hanson Ross Auctioneers in Woburn on May 12.

The seller said she knew her husband liked collecting coins but had no idea how many he had secretly squirrelled away in nooks and crannies over the years. She added: “I was pleased with the result. I found most of the coins a couple of months ago but more turned up over the course of the next few weeks.

“I kept finding more every time I cleared another part of the house. They were in drawers and cupboards or wrapped up among other things.

“Most were in a wardrobe but I found a lot more locked in my husband’s old office desk. I had no idea he had so many and, to be honest, I think he’d forgotten about some of them.

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“He started collecting in the mid-1970s and his hobby carried on for more than 40 years. It was just something he liked to do.”

A secret hoard of more than 1,000 historic coins found hidden in shoe boxes at a late businessman's home has fetched nearly £21,000 at auction.A secret hoard of more than 1,000 historic coins found hidden in shoe boxes at a late businessman's home has fetched nearly £21,000 at auction.
A secret hoard of more than 1,000 historic coins found hidden in shoe boxes at a late businessman's home has fetched nearly £21,000 at auction.

The William III crown sold for £100 while the Edward VII 1902 gold £2 coin made £730 and 50 Austrian Silver Maria Theresa SF Thaler trade coins went for £950. A collection of pre-1947 silver coins including half-crowns, florins, shillings, sixpences and threepences fetched £340.

A set of Birmingham Mint ‘Great British Regiment’s’ silver medallic Issue cap badges representing 52 regiments went under the hammer for £940. Amanda West-Butler, director of operations at Hanson Ross, said: “I was thrilled by the result in what was the inaugural Hansons Ross sale and I was delighted for our client.

“When I went to meet the family I couldn’t believe how many coins they’d uncovered. Most were found in shoe boxes at the bottom of a wardrobe in the family home in Luton, but that was just the start.

The incredible collection was discovered by the man's stunned wife and daughter as they were going through his belongings following his death last autumn.The incredible collection was discovered by the man's stunned wife and daughter as they were going through his belongings following his death last autumn.
The incredible collection was discovered by the man's stunned wife and daughter as they were going through his belongings following his death last autumn.
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“Coins cropped up all over the place. The family kept calling me to tell me they’d found more.

“A collector’s passion can never be underestimated. This gentleman took great pleasure in buying historical coins. Perhaps he didn’t want to let on just how many he had but he left a valuable gift for his family.”