A couple dug up the kitchen floor during a renovation and found a sum of money that changed their lives

By Jurassic JennMay 16, 2024 12:38 PMCuriosity
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A couple dug up the kitchen floor during a renovation and found a sum of money
A couple dug up the kitchen floor during a renovation and found a sum of money. Source: www.smh.com.au

A couple was stunned when they dug up the concrete floor in their kitchen during a home renovation and found a hidden treasure worth £60,000 (almost three million hryvnias).

This was reported by SSPDaily.

Robert and Becky Fuchs were digging up concrete to increase the height of the kitchen of their 17th-century cottage house near Bridport, UK, when they came across a huge hoard of coins.

Robert dug into the concrete with a pickaxe to a depth of 60 cm and in the process unearthed a broken ceramic bowl filled to the brim with 400-year-old gold and silver coins. In total, the agricultural engineer counted 1,029 coins, including rare specimens of King James I and King Charles I.

It is believed that the hoard of coins was buried between 1642 and 1644 during the English Civil War for safekeeping by the then owner of the house, who never returned to retrieve them.

Robert and Becky reported their discovery to the local finds officer, after which the collection was sent to the British Museum for identification. The coins were then sold by auctioneers at Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester, Dorset, for a total price of £60,000.

Including fees, the total amount paid for the hoard was £78,000, more than double the pre-sale estimate of £35,000. The most valuable lot was King Charles I's 1635 gold crown for £5,000, a Charles I silver shilling sold for £3,200, and a James I gold laurel coin for £2,700.

Becky, a 43-year-old National Health Service nurse, said: "The auction was brilliant, very exciting and a bit of a whirlwind. We are very pleased with the result. The construction work on the house is still ongoing, so we will use some of the money to pay off some debts and we will also have a few treats."

The couple bought the cottage in 2019, but did not move in at first while the renovation work was underway. In October of that year, they found the coins under the kitchen, but the identification process took several years.

Becky explained: "This house is 400 years old, so it was a lot of work. We tore down all the floors and ceilings. We decided to lower the first floor to give us more ceiling height. One evening I was with my children and my husband was digging with a pickaxe when he called and said they had found something. He put everything in a bucket and brought it home to me. If we hadn't lowered the floor, they would still be hidden there. It's strange and fascinating. I assume that the coins were buried during the English Civil War, and a person intended to find them but never got the chance."

Julian Smith, a specialist at Duke's Auctioneers, called the auction "fantastic" and said the couple watched the sale with smiles on their faces, saying they were "over the moon" with the result. He added: "I knew the gold coins would sell for a high price, but the James I silver coins sold very well and they were very highly bid. They were in pretty good condition and you could see the details and that made a big difference to the coin collectors who were bidding."

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