Metal detectorist makes find of his life after discovering Viking coin worth £15,000

A metal detectorist made the “find of a lifetime” after picking up a 1,100-year-old penny that could be worth up to £15,000.

Richard Scothern, 45, hit the jackpot when he made the amazing discovery in a parsnip field on Boxing Day last year.

Richard, who has been a metal detectorist for 19 years, was stunned to find out that the coin dates back to the reign of Viking king Sihtric Caoch, in the late 10th century.

It is set to be sold at auction in London on March 15, with coin specialists Dix Noonan Webb predicting a sale of between £10,000 and £15,000.

The money will be split between its finder and the owner of the field, near Newark, Notts.

Buried – the coin has been buried underground for more than a century (Picture: Getty)

Mr Scothern, from Nottingham, said the penny – which is in perfect condition despite being buried underground for over a century – is the best thing he has ever found.

He said: “I can’t believe it survived the farm machinery. That coin has used up its nine lives. I must have walked over the coin so many times on previous visits.

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“My detector gave a signal that was as clean as a whistle and the coin was only a couple of inches below the surface.

“It was incredible when the coin came out. I immediately knew it was a Viking coin because I had seen reproductions of them in the Jorvik Museum in York and I knew that it was a nice coin. But I didn’t know about its rarity.”

Under the hammer – the coin is set to raise up to £15,000 at auction (Picture: Getty)

The coin was minted, probably in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Sihtric Caoch, who sat on the throne for six years from 921-927.

Will Bennett, a spokesman for Dix Noonan Webb, said: “This penny is excessively rare and, despite having spent more than 1,000 years in the soil, is in extremely fine condition.

“In addition to being an extraordinary survivor, it is also the coin of a conqueror – Sihtric would have wanted his own coins minted to reinforce his authority.”

(Top picture: SWNS)

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