Devon family makes a fortune from 13th-century gold coin discovered thanks to return to an old hobby

A metal detectorist who gave up his hobby when he started a family, only to return to it when his children were old enough to nag him into taking them out detecting with him, has been rewarded with one of the most extraordinary finds – a lovely example of England’s oldest gold coin, which has sold for a record-breaking £648,000 at auction.

Michael Leigh-Mallory, 52, found the Henry III gold penny buried 10cm deep on farmland in the Devon village of Hemyock shortly after taking up his old hobby again. Not realising what it was, he posted a picture of the coin on social media, where it was spotted by the auctioneers Spink in London.

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