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When a walking boot is noble getting…

It was a seemingly ordinary day in June 2017 at a club detecting rally in Hampshire, UK. Hobby enthusiast Adrian Bungey was searching a freshly cut stubble field with his machine when he suddenly heard a strong, loud signal. To dig or not to dig – he didn’t dilly-dally too long, and… out jumped a very valuable coin, Henry V gold noble, that was down about 5 inches deep!

The dictionary of numismatics defines noble as a fine gold English coin which was introduced in 1344 during the reign of Edward III (1327–1377). It was his second attempt at creating a gold coinage. The first gold coin he produced was the gold florin – however that coin was not a success and was withdrawn within a year. It was replaced that same year by the noble – a larger and heavier coin (138.46 grains). The noble had an increased face value of 6 shillings and eight pence; exactly a third of a pound [1]. Apart from the full noble, there were also a half noble and quarter noble issued at the same time. Noteworthy is the fact that the gold noble was one of the first English coins to be produced in great quantity from the mid-14th century onwards.

So here it is, a Henry V full noble, discovered by Adrian – large as life and twice as ugly:

You can also watch the video showing the objects unearthed at that rally event (Adrian’s freshly dug find is at 10:36-10:59):

And this is what Henry V noble looks like after it has been cleaned:

Obverse shows the King crowned and wearing armour, standing facing in a ship holding sword and shield. Reverse shows ornate floriated cross within tressure of arches. The coin is going to the auction on 6-7th December 2017 at Spinks Auction House in London and has been preliminarily valued from 5 to 7 thousand pounds.

That very day Adrian also picked up another item – an Anglo-Saxon strap end that was recovered from around 4 inches depth in the same field. It’s a great example of just how skilled the Anglo Saxons were at working metal. Although strap ends had a function – to prevent the ends of a belt from fraying and make it easier to thread through a buckle – they must have been viewed as a form of jewelry.

The pictures of the finds were published in Britain’s Treasure Hunting magazine, October 2017 issue, in the ‘Finds’ section.

The above objects were discovered using the Makro Racer 2 and a MarsMD Tiger coil.

Our congratulations to Mr. Adrian Bungey on finding these amazing items! Best of luck in the auction!!!


[1] Spink – Coins of England and the United Kingdom


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