A penny...worth �10,000

IPSWICH: Look after the pennies – because in a few thousands years they could be worth as much as this rare Anglo Saxon coin.

The penny was minted in Ipswich and dates back to the 10th century.

And when it went under the hammer in London this week it sold for �10,000, far exceeding it’s estimate of �3,500 to �4,500.

William MacKay, coin specialist at Spinks auction house, said: “It is an Anglo Saxon penny of King Edward the Martyr.

“It was made in Ipswich and there are only five known examples of this coin in Europe.”

Thousands of coins were produced at the Suffolk Mint, which was in operation from the middle of the 10th Century until the 13th Century, although it was considered a small mint in comparison to the likes of London.

“This is one of the earliest coins from the Suffolk Mint and this was a fine example,” said Mr MacKay.

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There was a lot of interest in the coin before the auction when it was sold to a private collector.

Another lot sold alongside the coin was the so-called Diss Torc, which fetched a staggering �50,700 - the estimate was set at around half that figure.

“A torc is a large ring of gold that would have been worn by a Celtic chief around his neck,” Mr MacKay explained.

The Iron Age torc was dated to 150 to 50BC and was discovered in the Diss area of Norfolk.

It sold to an anonymous bidder.

“The market for quality collectors coins is very strong at the moment and when we get rare examples we are getting some very good prices, like we saw yesterday.”

n Have you found anything valuable? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.