English Family Finds More Than a Thousand 17th-Century Coins During Home Renovation

 The hoard, which collectively sold for $75,000, was likely buried during the First English Civil War

Charles I gold "unite" crown coin

Charles I gold "unite" crown coinAfter the family’s discovery, Robert placed the coins into a bucket and the couple reported the event to a local finds liaison officer, per the Guardian. The officer then notified the British Museum and sent the coins to experts there, who could clean and identify them.

Smashed glazed pottery bowl
The British family found the Poorton Coin Hoard in a glazed pottery bowl that was either shattered during digging or prior to the find. Duke's Auctioneers

Experts believe that the coins were hidden during the First English Civil War, which began in 1642 and ended in 1646. The war broke out when supporters of Parliament fought against the English monarch, King Charles I, fearing the crown had too much power. King Charles was executed at the end of the war, marking a temporary overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic led by Parliament.

Waseem Ahmed, a doctoral student of history at University College London, tells Live Science’s Hannah Kate Simon that Dorset was a center of activity for troop movements during the English Civil War. The person who hid the coins likely buried them out of fear that someone would take them.

"If you were a royalist or suspected royalist, you could have your estates sequestrated [seized] by the Parliamentary side and vice versa," says Ahmed, who was not involved with the hoard’s discovery, per Live Science.

The coins, dubbed the Poorton Coin Hoard, range from sixpences, to silver half crowns, to gold "unite" coins worth 20 shillings. They feature the faces of different British monarchs who ruled from 1547 to 1649, including Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Mary and King Charles I.Duke's did not auction the coins as one big collection. Instead, they were sold individually or in smaller groups with many items fetching higher prices than expected. A gold coin with the face of Charles I generated the most money, collecting £5,000 (about $6,250)

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