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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 11:30 GMT
Henry VIII coin sells for 22,500
Henry VIII coin
The coin fetched 10 times its expected price at auction
A rare 500-year-old coin from a private Cumbrian home has been auctioned for 22,500 - 10 times more than expected.

The silver medallion, which commemorates Henry VIII becoming head of the Protestant church in 1542, was expected to sell for 2,000 to 3,000.

The coin is just a few millimetres thick, about the width of a small coffee cup, and bears the king's face.

It was sold by Thomson, Roddick and Medcalf in Carlisle to an anonymous bidder from the south of England.

Auctioneer John Thomson, said he only knew of three other such coins - two of which are held at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and one at the British Museum in London.

Mr Thomson said: "The coin is in good condition and we expected it to go for a few thousand pounds. We were not expecting this at all.

"There were three substantial bidders, one in the room and two on the telephone so the atmosphere was quite tense. The coin went to a bidder who wishes to remain anonymous."

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