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Iron Age coin found near Newbury smashes estimate and sells for £80k

The coin was struck in modern-day Silchester

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner


01635 886684

Iron Age coin found near Newbury smashes estimate and sells for £80k

Gold stater of Caratacus Photo credit: Chris Rudd

A 2,000-year-old Iron Age coin has sold for £80,040 to an unnamed buyer.

The coin, found in a field near Newbury in November last year, was sold at auction last Sunday, November 15, and smashed its £30k estimate.

Chris Rudd of Chris Rudd Auctions, Norwich, claimed the price was a world record for a Celtic coin after it had a starting price of £24,000, according to The Times.

Described as the ‘most important single Iron Age coin ever found in this country’, the coin depicts the leader Caratacus, who resisted the Roman invasion in 43AD, as a naked horseman carrying a javelin and shield.

The coin was struck at Calleva – modern day Silchester – shortly before the Roman Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in AD43 and is the first gold coin of Caratacus to be found. It is considered to be important because the inscription CVNO confirms that Caratacus was a son of Cunobelinus, the legendary Old King Cole and the Cymbeline of Shakespeare.

Dr John Sills, author of Divided Kingdoms: the Iron Age gold coinage of southern England, said: “Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something completely unexpected turns up out of left field – the find of a lifetime."

A metal detectorist uncovered the coin last year in a field near Newbury, not far from where it was minted 2,000 years ago.

The coin has been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme of the British Museum and by the Celtic Coin Index at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford.

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