A COUPLE were stunned to find 264 gold coins worth an eye-watering £754,000 concealed under their kitchen floor.
The pair – who live in the village of Ellerby, North Yorks – were redecorating when they stumbled across a cup filled with the pricey pieces.
At first they thought they had uncovered an electrical cable six inches under the concrete at their 18th-century detached home, where they have lived for more than ten years.
But when they lifted it up from under the floor they found the stash of coins in a salt-glazed earthenware cup that was about the same size as a Coke can.
On closer inspection they found the gold coins that dated from 1610 to 1727 and covered the reigns of James I and Charles I through to George I.
The couple contacted London auctioneers Spink & Son and an expert visited their property to evaluate the hoard.
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They were traced as belonging to a wealthy and influential merchant family from Hull, the Fernley-Maisters.
The Maister family were importers and exporters of iron ore, timber and coal and later generations served as Whig politicians and Members of Parliament in the early 1700s.
The coins were amassed in the lifetime of Joseph Fernley and his wife Sarah Maister.
Fernley died in 1725 and his widow remained in Ellerby for the rest of her life until she died aged 80 in 1745.
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The finders discovered the coins in July 2019 and were estimated to be worth £250,000.
But to the couple's shock, they were flogged for a whopping £754,320.
A highlight of the sale was a George I guinea from 1720, which has a mint error.
The coin has no king's head on it, instead having two tail sides of the coin, and fetched £9,600.
A Charles II guinea from 1675 which has a spelling error, with the king's Latin name spelled incorrectly as CRAOLVS instead of CAROLVS, also sold for £9,600.
Auctioneer Gregory Edmund said: "The sale was unique in so many ways.
"The story of the coins, the method of discovery and the rare opportunity to buy them at auction.
"All that combined in a buoyant and energised market to create incredible new prices as the 264 coins of the Ellerby hoard found new homes.
"Buyers flocked from around the world to share in the story of Sarah and Joseph Fernley and the privilege of owning a part of their 292-year old treasure.
"I have never seen a response to an auction like that before, and the results testify it, my provisional estimate was demolished three times over.
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"The finders who wish to remain anonymous were absolutely staggered by the result. It dwarfed any pre-conceived expectations. I am not sure it will ever sink in.
"This find is one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain."
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