19 September 2019
A Roman gold Solidus of the Emperor Constantine I in almost perfect condition, found by a long time Metal Detectorist in Somerset sold for £20,608* today (Tuesday, September 17, 2019) in an auction of Ancient Coins at Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists, at their auction rooms in central Mayfair - 16 Bolton St, London, W1J 8BQ. It was bought by Hadrien Rambach, a European Dealer on behalf of a Collector and had been estimated to fetch £10,000-12,000.
It was the detectorists first time searching the field, close to a Roman road once used for transporting mined lead ore, in Wanstrow in Somerset, after gaining permission from the farmer. Using a secondhand metal detector, he saw that the field had a curious unnatural shape to it. Detecting carefully in this spot he found a Roman brooch and several pieces of lead ore. Then at a depth of nearly a foot he discovered the gold coin. The find was then recorded on the portable antiquities database by the local finds liaison officer who realised it was the first one of this type to be found in Britain. After having the coin returned, the finder and the land-owner agreed to auction it with DNW.
As DNW’s Antiquities specialist, Nigel Mills, commented: “The coin was a magnificent example of a gold Solidus minted in 313-5 at Trier, the capital of Gaul. This was a new denomination introduced by Constantine in 310. The price realised is almost double our estimate so I am delighted with the result. Both the finder and the landowner were present at the auction.”
Christopher Webb, Director and Head of the Coin Department, Dix Noonan Webb, said: “This is another strong price for a Roman Coin found on British soil, considering all the turmoil the world is going through at the moment, the market for good quality coins is excellent."
**Please note that the price includes buyers premium of 24% and VAT