Rare gold coin unearthed near Bosworth Battlefield expected to fetch a king's ransom
A rare gold coin unearthed near Bosworth Battlefield is expected to sell for more than £12,000 at auction.
The pristine find dates from 1484 – a year before Richard III was defeated at Bosworth – and features a ship at sea on one side and St Michael spearing a dragon on the reverse.
Importantly, the coin also bears the boar's head symbol of Richard III, exciting experts who suspect it was lost at the time of the battle, in August 1485.
The coin – known as an angel because of its depiction of St Michael – was found in August using a metal detector.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
It will go on sale at a two-day coin auction at Spink's, in London, on December 4 and 5.
The auction house has not named the owner or given any clues as to who discovered it.
Spink's coin specialist William MacKay said: "It is incredible that just as we are having all the publicity about the discovery of Richard III's tomb in Leicester, this coin, which was found so close to where he met his death, should be brought in to our offices.
"It's a remarkable find and shows little sign of wear and tear, making this very likely a coin lost at the time of the Battle of Bosworth and Richard III's death.
"It is conceivable the owner of this coin was involved in the events of August 1485 and the Battle of Bosworth."
While badges, sword mounts, cannonballs and other coins have been found near the Bosworth site before, the gold coin is very rare, according to experts.
The estimated value in the sale is £12,000 to £15,000.
Richard Knox, Leicestershire County Council's heritage development manager, said: "It is a very exciting find, and particularly relevant at the moment with the interest in Bosworth as a result of the dig in Leicester.
"It could well be related to the battle, given its date and condition, as it would take fairly exceptional circumstances for someone to lose such a valuable, large gold coin.
"It was worth 6s 8d, which would represent just over 13 days' wages for a skilled craftsman, such as a thatcher, or a skilled serving soldier, such as an archer, at the time of the battle.
"The detail of the boar's head on the reverse of the coin is wonderful and shows how such coins were made more personal than just bearing the king's name."
Archaeologists involved in a dig to search for Richard III uncovered human remains at the Greyfriars car park, in the city centre, in August.
DNA tests are still continuing on the skeleton.
However, wounds to the head and other details make many experts very hopeful that the remains are those of the king.