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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Friday, 20 August 2010 17:10 UK
Treasure trove found in Dronfield
Rob Lea, an auctioneer from ELR in Sheffield, shows one of the coins
Rob Lea, an auctioneer from ELR in Sheffield, shows one of the coins

The luckiest find many people ever make is a washed out ten pound note in their back pocket.

But a family from Dronfield have made a much more lucky discovery. It happened when they decided to get rid of an old mahogany box that had been kicking around their house for 30 years.

Inside they discovered a small fortune. On opening the box, a locksmith revealed drawers filled with 1500 coins, some dating back 2000 years.

Auctioneers at ELR in Sheffield were surprised at how much they sold for. Rob Lea from ELR spoke to BBC Radio Sheffield after the auction in August 2010:

"I thought there may be some very good prices and there were. The odd one fell short but the vast majority sold for a lot more than we expected.

"The best price was a collection of Roman and ancient coins which we thought would go for £600-800, but they ended up going at £1700."

One of the Roman coins found in a box in Dronfield, Sheffield
One of the coins found in a box in Dronfield, Sheffield - George III (1818)

The collection included coins which were 2000 years old up to the 20th century. They had belonged to a collector who had passed them down to the people who found the box.

ELR put the auction online so that bidders from all over the world could take part: "Lots of people bought over the internet and the room was well attended."

The collection was split into 50 lots for the auction:

"Different collectors want different types of coins," explains Rob Lea. "There are Roman collectors, people who want gold, silver, and so on. There were some very good coins among them.

"The sorts of people with an interest are coin collectors, traders who buy to sell them on and people who buy them to melt the gold and silver down.

"None of these fell into that bracket because they were all very interesting coins."

The collection consists of 1500 coins, some dating back 2000 years
The collection consists of 1500 coins, some dating back 2000 years

Rob Lea says it was an exciting moment when he first looked through the opened box:

"I was like a kid opening his Christmas presents. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to see but each drawer contained some real beauties, some really difficult finds.

"This doesn't happen all the time and to get the cream of the crop is quite exciting. I'm sure the owners will be very happy at the good news."




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