‘We knew it was special’ - Teen metal detectorist finds historic coin possibly worth thousands

Reece Pickering, 17, from Great Yarmouth, with a George III gold guinea he found six months after he

Reece Pickering, 17, from Great Yarmouth, with a George III gold guinea he found six months after he started metal detecting. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers. - Credit: Archant

A teen metal detectorist from Norfolk dug up a coin dating back nearly 1,000 years and potentially worth thousands of pounds at auction.

Reece Pickering’s Harold II silver penny where he found it in Norfolk. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers.

Reece Pickering’s Harold II silver penny where he found it in Norfolk. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers. - Credit: Archant

Reece Pickering, a 17-year-old catering apprentice from Great Yarmouth, found a Saxon coin in farmers’ fields in Topcroft, a village near Bungay, in August.

He was metal detecting with his dad, Jonny Crowe, when he discovered a Harold II silver penny, a Saxon coin dating back to 1066, the year of the Battle of Hastings 954 years ago.

The coin has a guide price of £2,500 to £3,000.

Mr Crowe, a 41-year-old welder, said: “The coin has been recorded with The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Only two others are known to exist. It’s worth around £3,000 but could sell for more.

The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering in Norfolk. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers.

The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering in Norfolk. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers. - Credit: Archant


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“The day Reece found it we were out metal detecting in a couple of farmer’s fields. We’d only come across rubbish. The next minute I heard Reece shouting and waving from the other side of the field.

“I went over and there he was with his find. He kicked the dirt away, picked up the coin and gave it a wipe. We knew it was special.”

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He said they put the coin up for identification and it turned out to be a rare Cambridge mint Harold II penny.

“Reece has just turned 17 but he was only 16 when he found it,” Mr Crowe said.

“He’s been metal detecting for a couple of years, in fact he introduced me to the hobby.

“He loves his history. It’s his biggest find to date but not his first.”

Reece, a catering apprentice who goes metal detecting most weekends, said: “It was pretty special to find. 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.”

Harold II was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England.

He reigned from January 6, 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066.

He was fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England.

His death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England.

The coin is due to be sold at Hansons’ Historica Auction between October 26 and 27.

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