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Essex and Norfolk teenage metal detectorists sell 1,000 year old royal coins at auction

image copyrightHansons Auctioneers
image captionReece Pickering found the coin (both sides pictured) while metal detecting in the village of Topcroft, between Long Stratton and Bungay

A rare King Harold II coin dating from 1066 that was found by a metal detecting teenager has made £4,000 at auction.

Reece Pickering, of Great Yarmouth, was 16 when he found the silver penny at Topcroft, in Norfolk, in August.

The coin, found while metal detecting with his father, had been estimated to fetch up to £3,000.

A Henry I coin sold for £3,100, after it was found in Essex by a 15-year-old, who was also out with his dad..

The coins were sold at Hansons' Historica auction.

image captionHarold Godwinson ruled England from January 1066 until his defeat and death at the hands of William the Conqueror's forces at the Battle of Hastings in October that year

Reece, a catering apprentice who goes metal detecting most weekends, said: "I wasn't expecting to come across such a scarce and remarkable coin. It's a day I will remember forever.

"I can't imagine finding something as special as this again. You just never know what's beneath your feet."

His father Jonny Crow, a 41-year-old welder, said: "The coin has been recorded with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Only two others are known to exist."

image copyrightHansons Auctioneers
image captionThe Henry II coin was found by schoolboy Walter Taylor in a field in south Essex

Also up for auction was a Henry I coin dating from his reign (1100-1135) found by 16-year-old Walter Taylor, while searching in a field in south Essex in September, when he was 15.

A detectorist since he was four, Walter, from the Ongar area, said the coin, which fetched £3,100, was his "biggest find".

"I'd been out with my dad and uncle for about four hours when I found it," he said.

"I thought it was a silver penny, but when I swiped the mud off it, I saw a face staring at me."

The auction house said the finds had been reported to the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme, and, after the auctioneer's cut, the money from the sale would be split 50/50 between the detectorists and the landowners.

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