First-ever gold coin that was once worth just a penny could sell for £500,000

Started by gash, December 28, 2017, 11:27:22 pm

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THE first ever English gold coin is tipped to sell for £500,000 - despite originally having to be scrapped after a banking blunder.

Some 52,000 of the King Henry III gold pennies were struck nearly 800 years ago before it was realised they were too heavy.

The basic mistake meant the gold it was made from was worth more than the coin itself.

This made the coins financially unviable as the holders could get more money from melting them down for gold rather than using them as currency.

Virtually all of them were smelted and were replaced with correctly weighed pennies in 1257.

Today only eight of the coins exist, with all but three of them held by institutions.

One of the three in private hands has been put up for sale and is set to fetch £500,000.

It is being sold by an anonymous collector who has owned it for 21 years.

Cristiano Bierrenbach, of the numismatic department at US-based Heritage Auctions, said: "These gold pennies were the first gold coins made in England.

"King Henry III tried to establish a trade conversion value for a coin to match the Ducat coin which was used on mainland Europe.

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