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Man Finds Viking Penny Worth £15,000

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Man Finds Viking Penny Worth £15,000

Some people are so bloody lucky, aren't they? 45-year-old Richard Scothern was out with his metal detector on Boxing Day when he came across this 1,100-year-old penny.

Alright, that doesn't sound very exciting, but the coin dates back to the reign of Viking king Sitric Cáech and is expected to be worth around £15,000.

Even though the coin has spent over 1,000 years underground it's still in good nick.

Richard said: "It's the best thing I have ever found.


"I can't believe it survived the farm machinery. That coin has used up its nine lives.

Obviously this isn't king Sitric Cáech, it's just some bloke dressed as a Viking. Credit: PA

"I must have walked over the coin so many times on previous visits. My detector gave a signal that was as clean as a whistle and the coin was only a couple of inches below the surface.


"It was incredible when the coin came out.

"I immediately knew it was a Viking coin because I had seen reproductions of them in the Jorvik Museum in York and I knew that it was a nice coin. But I didn't know about its rarity."

The coin is now set to go on sale at an auction in London and coin-experts from Dix Noonan Webb reckon it will get up to £15,000.

Will Bennett, a spokesman for Dix Noonan Webb, said: "This penny is excessively rare and, despite having spent more than 1,000 years in the soil, is in extremely fine condition.


"In addition to being an extraordinary survivor, it is also the coin of a conqueror - Sitric would have wanted his own coins minted to reinforce his authority."

The money it fetches will be split between Richard and the owner of the field it was found in, making a nice little pay day for the pair.

Now while finding a Viking coin on the floor seems to be a case of 'finders keepers' - I mean, it's unlikely Erik the Red is going to pop up and demand his penny back, keeping money you find is actually against the law, as one woman found out earlier this week.

Nicole Bailey, 23, ended up with a criminal record and was ordered to pay £175 in costs and charges, all because she found £20 in a shop and pocketed it.


Prosecutor Ruth Bentley said: "Staff checked the CCTV which showed a female pick up the £20 note from a display in the store. The manager recognised the woman, who was a regular customer."

Nicole was seen on CCTV picking up the note, which had been earlier dropped by a man who used the cash machine at the shop in Burton-On-Trent, East Staffordshire.

She was tracked down via the CCTV footage after a shop worker recognised her and confessed to police that she had picked up the money.

Simon Dykes, mitigating, said a police caution would have been a fairer punishment.


He said: "She didn't know who the money belonged to. People don't realise picking up something you have found amounts to a theft. She has been quite naïve in doing so."

So, for future reference: if you find ancient coins you can flog 'em; if you find money still currently in circulation pass it to the police.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS/PA

Claire Reid
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