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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Rare coin breaks auction record
The Edward III double florin
The coin was found in the south of England earlier this year
A buyer has paid 460,000 at auction for a rare medieval gold coin which has broken the record for a British coin.

The Edward III double florin, known as a double leopard and with a face value of six shillings, was circulated from December 1343 until July 1344.

It is only the third known surviving coin, with two others found in the River Tyne in 1857.

The price paid at Spink auction house, which included buyer's premium, was three times the estimate of 150,000.

Edward III double florin
Full length portrait of king
King is seated on throne
Holding a sword and sceptre
Crowned leopards' heads on each side
Decorated with fleur de lis
Reverse shows small leopards

"We knew that there would be a huge interest, but this surpassed all of our expectations," said Jeremy Cheek, head of Spink Coin Auctions.

The coin was bought by dealer Ian Goldbart, managing director of AH Baldwin and Sons, for Avarae Global Coins, a global coin fund.

The coin - the first large gold one in England after centuries of silver ones - was found in February by a metal-detecting enthusiast in the south of England.

The location is not being revealed to prevent an influx of other detectors.

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