A treasure hunter could soon make a mint after unearthing an exceptionally rare American coin from a village field in Kings Clipstone.
The silver threepenny bit, which is 350 years old, was recently found in the ploughed field at King Clipstone, and US experts believe it could sell for a seven-figure sum when it goes under the hammer later this year.
Metal detectorist John Stoner was the lucky finder of the hand-hammered coin when he and other enthusiasts from the Coil to the Soil Metal Detector Club combed the field during a recent weekend excursion.
The 42-year-old, who is from Worksop, said: “I’ve been doing this for two or three years, and have found various artefacts and brooches, but nothing of any high value.
“I don’t know much about coins but I thought it was different because it’s not set out like a British coin.
“It didn’t sink in until the next day that I’d found something really important.
Bearing the date 1652, the New England coin was produced in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers in what would eventually become the United States.
The coin, which is the size of a modern one penny coin but thinner, has since been sent to America to be cleaned where it has also been authenticated.
Experts say it was from the first authorised colonial coinage, commissioned and struck in Boston, Massachusetts.
But while some American experts say it could sell for more than £1 million, more reserved experts in Britain are saying it is more likely to go for between £30,000 and £60,000.
“I’m going with what the British are saying, whatever I get will be a bonus,” added John.
“It’s not just that its rare, it’s the condition of it, it looks like it’s just been stamped.
“But I’m keeping my feet on the ground. Whatever money I do get I’ll probably send my mother on holiday and maybe buy a new detector - just everyday normal stuff really, nothing extravagant!”
Ian North, who runs the Coil to the Soil Metal Detector Club, said it was the first weekend event they had held at Kings Clipstone.
He said: “When John first found it we did know what it was, but there was someone who had seen one before and he said ‘I think your mate has just won the lottery!’.
“We are over the moon for John and it’s great that it happened for the club.
“For an item of this quality and rarity, it’s very significant. It really has caused quite a stir.”
The exact location of the find has not been revealed to prevent an influx of treasure hunters hoping for a similar discovery, but nobody knows exactly how the coin ended up in the Nottinghamshire field.
Classed as a ‘single find’ it is not subject to British treasure trove laws, so whatever at auction in London on 2nd December, the money to be split 50/50 between the finder and the landowner - an agreement put in place between the two parties.
“I think they are both in for a good Christmas!” added Ian.