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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 20:12 GMT 21:12 UK
Anglo-Saxon coin fetches 230,000
Ancient gold penny (Spink auction house)
Experts say the coin is the earliest pure gold English penny
An Anglo-Saxon penny fetched 230,000 at auction - breaking the world record for a British coin.

Specialists at Spink auction house in London had expected it to fetch between 120,000 and 150,000.

American collector Allan Davisson bought the gold coin, which was found with a metal detector near the River Ivel in Bedfordshire in 2001.

It is the only known coin to bear the name of King Coenwulf of Mercia and to show a clear regal design.

Experts at Spinks had been fascinated by its reference to the "wic" of London, an Anglo-Saxon settlement outside the city walls.

The previous auction record was held by a gold coin bearing the crown of George III, which raised 170,500 in 1999.

In 1984, an Anglo-Saxon gold penny fetched 23,100 while an English gold penny fetched 149,500 in 1996.

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