I found a rare gold penny in a field with a metal detector – and it could be worth $546,000

A METAL detectorist recently discovered a rare gold coin in a field in England – and it could make him a fortune.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, came across the coin on the farmlands of Devon.

However, he was not aware of the history and value of the coin until he posted a photo of the coin on Facebook.

After posting his picture, the man learned that the coin was in fact a Henry III gold penny.

The rare coin depicts King Henry III sitting on a throne while holding an orb and scepter.

It's estimated the coin was minted in 1257, and it's considered to be one of only eight such gold coins known to exist. 

The other surviving examples are in the British Museum in London, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and private collections.

According to a pre-sale estimate by British auctioneer Spink & Son in London, the penny could sell for as much as $546,000 (£402,000).

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The coin will go under the hammer on Sunday, January 23.

In a statement, the detectorist said: “The coin was found in an unappealing field and could quite easily never have been recovered

"How it has survived three-quarters of a millennium relatively unscathed is truly miraculous."

"Like all the hobbyists who keep dreaming, my wish came true that day. I happened to be a very lucky person.” 

Under the United Kingdom's Treasure Act of 1996, the hobbyist who found the coin is able to keep the Henry III gold penny or sell it.

Who was Henry III?

Henry III, also known as Henry of Winchester, was the King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death in 1272.

Henry's coinage was the first to be cast in gold. Since the Norman Conquest, the England economy had been relying on silver coins.

Yet, it later became apparent that the gold coins Henry III started circulating were financially unviable because the value of the coin was worth less than its weight in gold.

As a result, most of the coins were melted down after they fell out of circulation.

Tips for finding valuable coins

There are various ways you can find rare coins.

There are plenty of coins out there, including nickels, dimes, half dollars, and Lincoln pennies that are quite valuable, and you can make some serious cash off of them.

However, make sure you lower your expectations because you shouldn’t expect to find a coin worth $546,000 right away.

The first thing you can do to start your hunt for valuable coins is to check places in your home or any places you might store change.

Some other things you can try are using a metal detector in historical areas or by stopping by your local bank branch and asking for a wrapper of pennies.

The Sun also recently revealed how a rare 1971 Eisenhower coin sold for $264,000.

Plus, we show you how to find rare coins including ones featuring Lincoln.

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