Lorry driver discovers gold Henry VIII half-sovereign worth £2,000

Lorry driver, 38, discovers gold Henry VIII half-sovereign worth £2,000 dubbed the ‘Holy Grail of metal detecting’

  • Sean Sandercock uncovered the ‘Holy Grail of metal detecting’ during an organised dig in East Devon
  • Father-of-two Mr Sandercock is planning on selling it to the highest bidder to fund a holiday for his family
  • Mr Sandercock, from Okehampton, Devon, said the coin had been discovered near an old abbey

A lorry driver found a Henry VIII gold half-sovereign worth £2,000 while using a metal detector.

Sean Sandercock, 38, uncovered the rare item dubbed the ‘Holy Grail of metal detecting’ during an organised dig in East Devon.  

Mr Sandercock has become the talk of the metal detecting circuit, and his discovery is now generating interest from coin collectors all over the UK. 

Although the location of the dig cannot be publicised, Mr Sandercock said it was near an old abbey. Other finds at the site include historic silver coins, including a William III sixpence, dated 1649.  

Father-of-two Mr Sandercock is planning on selling the coin to the highest bidder to fund a holiday for his family.

Sean Sandercock, 38, uncovered the rare item dubbed the ‘Holy Grail of metal detecting’ during an organised dig in East Devon

Mr Sandercock, from Okehampton, Devon, said: ‘Everyone wants to know about the coin. I have had hundreds of comments on social media from people all over the UK’

Profits from the sale would be split between him and the landowner.

THE HENRY VIII GOLD HALF-SOVEREIGN 

The Henry VIII gold half-sovereign was struck at the Tower Mint in London, showing the King holding an Orb and Sceptre on the throne the obverse, with a Crowned shield held by lions on the reverse.

The first Gold Half Sovereign was issued by Henry VIII, with posthumous coins also issued between 1547 and 1551 showing Edward VI’s portrait appearing on the body of his father.  

This was because it had been thought that nine-year-old Edward was too young to rule, so most coins issued following Henry’s death still featured his portrait, but as Edward aged the Mint would put his young face on a body similar to that of Henry. 

Source: Bullion by Post 

Mr Sandercock, from Okehampton, Devon, said: ‘Everyone wants to know about the coin. I have had hundreds of comments on social media from people all over the UK.

‘It is like the Holy Grail of metal detecting – it’s pretty cool.

‘I feel like I have hit the jackpot. It will fetch a nice little sum and will pay for a holiday for the family.’

A member of the Axe Valley Searchers, Mr Sandercock has only been metal detecting for 14 months and already he has had a good number of finds.

He added: ‘I found a gold ring which someone had lost 16 years ago so it was nice to give that back.

‘I also found a 800-year-old silver strap end of a belt which experts believe could have belonged to high royalty.

‘I’ve been pretty lucky really but the gold sovereign is really special. Someone told me they had been metal detecting for 40 years and never found anything as good as that.’

Mr Sandercock said he was asked by a friend if he fancied going metal detecting one day and from then on he was hooked.

‘The minute I found my first coin that was it,’ he said.

‘It is like holding history in your hand and you start thinking about who was the last to hold the coin and what their life was like.’

Mr Sandercock said at the weekends, he sorted out his children and then went off for eight or nine hours metal detecting.

Organised digs take place on private land once a month and anything that is found valued at more than £500 is sold and the money split between the landowner and the metal detectorist.

Mr Sandercock is now is holding out for the maximum price on his find.

‘It’s not going cheap. I’ll hold until I can get maximum value – it’s a hell of a find,’ he added.     

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