The Canterbury pensioner had hidden a collection of rare coins valued at £ 75,000

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A retiree who lives on a trailer park in Kent had a secret stash of rare coins valued at £ 75,000 when it was discovered.

John Cross, 72, of Canterbury died unaware of his extraordinary collection, which has been described by experts as one of the most important of its kind outside a UK museum.

The Canterbury coin collector John Cross quietly collected his impressive booty

It wasn’t discovered until executors cleared out his motor home and found documents related to the Anglo-Saxon loot.

The 80 coins – one worth up to £ 12,000 – were so valuable that Mr. Cross had kept them for safekeeping in a bank vault.

He accumulated the collection over a period of 20 to 30 years, with many of the coins having Canterbury ties, including a silver penny minted for the archbishop, dating from 765-792. The value is estimated at 2,000 to 2,500 euros.

Another – worth £ 2,000 – shows Cuthred, King of Kent, on a silver portrait penny dated 798-807.

But the most valuable is an extremely rare gold shilling – nearly 1,400 years old – which is estimated to be worth up to £ 12,000.

An extremely rare gold thymsa or shilling from the years 640-660 is worth up to £ 12,000
An extremely rare gold thymsa or shilling from the years 640-660 is worth up to £ 12,000
A silver penny minted for the Archbishop of Canterbury dating from 765-792, valued at £ 2,500
A silver penny minted for the Archbishop of Canterbury dating from 765-792, valued at £ 2,500

The entire collection is now being auctioned in separate lots and is expected to raise around £ 75,000.

Canterbury Auction Galleries will host the three-day auction beginning October 8th.

Proceeds will go to the British Numismatic Society and Friends of Kent Churches at the request of Mr. Cross.

A spokesman for the executors gave a glimpse into the enthusiast’s incredible collection.

“In examining the Lord’s personal belongings, it appears that he was very preoccupied with researching Anglo-Saxon and medieval history and has quietly amassed a considerable collection,” he said.

A gold shilling depicting the emperor with a diademed bust is estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 pounds
A gold shilling depicting the emperor with a diademed bust is estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 pounds
A coin minted in 1066 for King Harold II
A coin minted in 1066 for King Harold II

“He had a particular fascination with the coinage of this time and was also interested in early buildings and churches.

“He attended lectures and even held a certificate in archaeological excavation, which he qualified for in 2010 when he was 60 years old.”

The Treasure of Mr. Cross contains many silver pennies, including one dating back to 1066 – a date well known in English history classes for high school students – a silver penny minted for King Harold II who was killed at the Battle of Hastings . It has a guide price of £ 1,500- £ 2,000.

Another gold shilling dates from 635-645 and shows the emperor with a diademed bust. The value is between 8,000 and 10,000 euros.

Others in the collection are of lesser value, with estimates starting at £ 200.

A silver portrait penny from the years 798-807 commemorates Cuthred, King of Kent
A silver portrait penny from the years 798-807 commemorates Cuthred, King of Kent

The collection can only be viewed by appointment through the Canterbury Auction Galleries. The sale takes place exclusively online.

For further information, click here.

Read more: All the news from Canterbury


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