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V17 2014 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 37, September 7, 2014, Article 31

OAK TREE THREEPENCE UNEARTHED IN ENGLAND

Dick Hanscom and Stephen Pradier forwarded this article from the London Daily Mail about an Oak Tree Threepence unearthed in a farmer's field by a metal detectorist. -Editor

Oak tree threepence obverse Oak tree threepence reverse

When it was minted 350 years ago, there wouldn’t have been much change from a slap-up meal and a few of pints of ale.

Today the silver threepenny coin that amateur treasure-hunter John Stoner dug up in a farmer’s field would probably buy the entire farm.

The extremely rare New England coin, bearing the date 1652, is expected to sell for up to £1million when it is auctioned.

It has been hailed as one of the finest examples of a currency produced in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers in a land that would become the United States.

How the 17th century threepenny bit ended up in the village of King’s Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, is not known but last night coin collectors from around the world clamoured to buy it.

Mr Stoner, who temporarily mislaid the coin at one point, found it while on an outing with the Coil To The Soil metal detector club on Sunday.

The 42-year-old father of two had only just started to sweep an area of the ploughed field when he picked up two signals from the detector.

The first was from a random piece of metal; the second was from an uneven, hand-hammered coin, about the size of a modern 1p but thinner, buried five inches deep in a clod of earth.

‘I dug up the soil and out it popped,’ he said of the historic find. ‘At first I didn’t think it was anything special. I knew it wasn’t English, but just how important a find it was, I didn’t have a clue.’

On Monday, coin expert Peter Spencer confirmed it was a genuine threepenny piece from the first authorised colonial coinage, commissioned and struck in Boston, Massachusetts.

‘I handed it over to him and I think it’s fair to say he went white as a ghost,’ Mr Stoner said. ‘He said its condition was like the day it was struck.’

Because it is a single coin, it is not subject to treasure trove laws which mean finds have to be reported to a coroner and handed to the Crown. Last night it was on its way to the US for expert cleaning before being offered for sale by St James’s Auctions in London on December 2.

To read the complete article, see:
Minted! Dug up in a Midlands field, a £1m 'perfect' US threepenny bit from the time of the Pilgrim Fathers (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2745782/Minted-Dug-Midlands-field-1m-perfect-US-threepenny-bit-time-Pilgrim-Fathers.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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