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Anyone who’s ever renovated an older home wouldn’t be surprised to find bits of the past – various clutter tucked away in walls or underneath floors, for example. But a 2019 renovation in North Yorkshire, England, resulted in the discovery of a veritable mother lode of gold coins from the 17th and 18th centuries. The hoard was discovered below the kitchen floorboards and has been described as one of the largest finds of gold coins ever uncovered in Britain. More than 260 coins dating from 1610 to 1727 were found in a salt-glazed earthenware cup. An auction is planned for next month, with the treasure expected to be worth as much as $290,000 (£250,000).
One hell of a piggy bank:
- Historians say the coins “almost certainly” belonged to Joseph and Sarah Maisters, who married in 1694. The Maisters were an influential mercantile family who traded iron ore, timber, and coal from the Baltic states.
- Coin expert Gregory Edmund from London auctioneers Spink & Son said that “Joseph and Sarah clearly distrusted the newly formed Bank of England,” and the concept of banknotes, and instead chose to keep a hoard of valuable coins dating back to the English Civil War.
- "Why they never recovered the coins when they were really easy to find just beneath original 18th-century floorboards is an even bigger mystery,” Edmund said, “but it is one hell of a piggy bank."