A Yorkshire couple find a £250,000 pot of gold under their kitchen floor

A happy couple who have found an incredible hoard of 264 gold coins buried under the floor of their home are set to sell it for £250,000.

While metal detectors can spend years searching for such a treasure chest, the unnamed couple misplaced their kitchen floor when they stumbled across a mug filled to the brim with coins as old as 400 years old.

The incredible discovery was made just 15cm below concrete on a detached 18th-century property in the village of Ellerby, North Yorkshire.

The coins were hidden in a metal can and buried under the ground for several generations

The coins were hidden in a metal can and buried under the ground for several generations

The coins were found to belong to a wealthy and influential Hull merchant family, the Fernley-Maisters. This rare George I Guinea with two tails (pictured) has a minting error and is expected to fetch £4,000

The coins were found to belong to a wealthy and influential Hull merchant family, the Fernley-Maisters. This rare George I Guinea with two tails (pictured) has a minting error and is expected to fetch £4,000

The finders discovered the coins in July 2019 and they have now been officially excluded and are up for auction. They have an overall estimate of £250,000 and this rare Charles II guinea with one misspelling is expected to fetch £1,500 at auction

The finders discovered the coins in July 2019 and they have now been officially excluded and are up for auction. They have an overall estimate of £250,000 and this rare Charles II guinea with one misspelling is expected to fetch £1,500 at auction

One of the coins dates from the reign of King Charles II (pictured), who ruled Great Britain and Ireland from 1660 to 1688

One of the coins dates from the reign of King Charles II (pictured), who ruled Great Britain and Ireland from 1660 to 1688

The unidentified couple found the coin hoard in an 18th-century estate in the Ellerby area of ​​Yorkshire (pictured).

The unidentified couple found the coin hoard in an 18th-century estate in the Ellerby area of ​​Yorkshire (pictured).

The astonished owners, who have lived in the property for over 10 years, initially thought their find was an electric cable.

But when they pulled it out from under the floor, they found the coin stash in a salt-glazed clay mug about the size of a Coke can.

Upon closer examination, they found the gold coins, which dated from 1610 to 1727 and covered the reigns of James I and Charles I to George I.

The couple contacted London auction house Spink & Son and an expert visited their property to appraise the treasure.

The coins were found to belong to a wealthy and influential Hull merchant family, the Fernley-Maisters.

Some of the coins date from the reign of King James I - seen here in a portrait by Daniel Myten from 1621

Some of the coins date from the reign of King James I – seen here in a portrait by Daniel Myten from 1621

An unidentified couple have found a pile of gold coins under the kitchen floor of their cottage in Ellerby, North Yorkshire

An unidentified couple have found a pile of gold coins under the kitchen floor of their cottage in Ellerby, North Yorkshire

The astonished owners, who have lived in the property for over 10 years, initially thought their find was an electric cable

The astonished owners, who have lived in the property for over 10 years, initially thought their find was an electric cable

The Maister family were importers and exporters of iron ore, timber and coal and later generations served as Whig politicians and MPs in the early 18th century.

The coins were amassed during the lifetimes of Joseph Fernley and his wife Sarah Maister. Fernley died in 1725 and his widow stayed at Ellerby for the rest of her life until she died in 1745 aged 80.

The finders discovered the coins in July 2019 and they have now been officially excluded and are up for auction. They have a combined total estimate of £250,000.

The coins were amassed during the lifetimes of Joseph Fernley and his wife Sarah Maister. Fernley died in 1725 and his widow stayed at Ellerby for the rest of her life until she died in 1745 aged 80

The coins were amassed during the lifetimes of Joseph Fernley and his wife Sarah Maister. Fernley died in 1725 and his widow stayed at Ellerby for the rest of her life until she died in 1745 aged 80

A highlight of the auction is a George I Guinea from 1720, which has a coin error. The coin does not feature a king’s head but has two ‘tail’ sides of the coin and is expected to fetch £4,000.

A 1675 Charles II guinea has a misspelling, with the king’s Latin name being incorrectly spelled as CRAOLVS instead of CAROLVS, and has an estimate of £1,500.

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said: “This is an intriguing and extremely important discovery. It is exceedingly rare that hordes of English gold coins ever come onto the market.

“This find of over 260 coins is also one of the largest archaeological records from Britain.

“It was a completely accidental discovery. The owners moved the floor of their home and found a pot the size of a Diet Coke can full of gold.

“You’ve never picked up a metal detector in your life. They just laid a floor and at first thought it was an electrical cable.

“A few days later I rushed up to see them in North Yorkshire and there were 264 gold coins in that cup – it’s unfathomable, I have no idea how they managed to fit so many in that pot.

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said: “This is an intriguing and extremely important discovery. It is exceedingly rare that treasures of English gold coins ever come onto the market.

Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said: “This is an intriguing and extremely important discovery. It is exceedingly rare that treasures of English gold coins ever come onto the market.

“The coins date from 1610 to 1727, which is usually a long time for a treasure.

“It also begs the question of why anyone would choose to bury a lot of coins in the early 18th century when they still had banks and paper money – all the things that meant hoarding shouldn’t have happened anymore.

“Its content is hardly ‘overwhelming’ – it simply mirrors the daily exchange £50 and £100 coins which were buried by their wealthy owner and mysteriously never found again.

“These are not perfectly minted coins, these are coins that have seen a hard life.

“However, the number of coins and the unique burial method provide an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the complicated English economy in the early decades of the Bank of England and the considerable distrust of its newfangled invention, the ‘bank note’.

The auction includes this'sample bust' of James I Laure (pictured). Auctioneer Gregory Edmund added: “The coins date from 1610 to 1727, which is usually a long time for a treasure.

The auction includes this ‘sample bust’ of James I Laure (pictured). Auctioneer Gregory Edmund added: “The coins date from 1610 to 1727, which is usually a long time for a treasure. “It also raises the question of why anyone would choose to bury a lot of coins in the early 1800s when they still had banks and banknotes – all the things that meant hoarding shouldn’t have happened anymore.”

“It is a wonderful and truly unexpected discovery from such a humble site.

“As a long-time coin specialist, I cannot recall a similar discovery in living memory, and it is therefore an enormous privilege to be able to properly document and research this treasure for the benefit of future generations.”

The Ellerby Hoard goes on sale in October.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11164227/Yorkshire-couple-250k-gold-hoard-kitchen-floor.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 A Yorkshire couple find a £250,000 pot of gold under their kitchen floor

Emma Colton

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