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Couple renovating their kitchen finds $75,000 treasure trove of 17th-century coins

AN ELIZABETH I SILVER SIXPENCE —
Portcullis, circa 1566; and fourteen other Elizabeth I silver sixpences, circa 1565-1567 (15)
Elizabeth I silver sixpences, circa 1565-1567 Duke's Auctioneers
  • A UK couple found a trove of 17th-century coins during a home renovation.

  • The collection includes Elizabeth I silver shillings and Charles I gold coins.

  • More evidence that a home might be hiding an amazing and valuable secret.

A UK couple's home renovation project turned into a profitable venture when they discovered a $75,000 treasure trove under their kitchen floor.

Robert and Betty Fooks were renovating their farmhouse in southern England when they found a valuable collection of 17th-century coins concealed beneath their kitchen.

Fooks' South Poorton Farm is a 17th-century cottage located in a small hamlet in West Dorset.

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The couple purchased the long house in 2019 and removed the modern concrete floor during their extensive renovation.

The coins were discovered while digging down two feet to expand the downstairs area.

The discovery is the latest in historic and valuable discoveries made accidentally in people's backyards, basements, underfloors, behind walls, and in attics, and evidence that your home could be hiding an amazing secret.

Betty Fooks, an NHS health visitor, told the Guardian: "It is a 400-year-old house, so there was lots of work to do. We were taking all the floors and ceilings out and took it back to its stone walls.

"One evening, my husband was digging with a pick ax when he called to say they've found something. He put all the coins in a bucket. If we hadn't lowered the floor, they would still be hidden there," she said.

The collection was handed to the British Museum for identification and cleaning.

Dukes Auctioneers said on its website that the British Museum believes the coins were deposited on one occasion around 1642-4. The English Civil War began around this time, and the area around Poorton experienced much conflict.

The "Poorton coin hoard" comprising 1,000 coins went under the hammer on April 23 at Duke's Auctioneers.

The collection, which includes Elizabeth I silver shillings, Charles I gold unite coins, James I silver sixpence coins, and more, was estimated to have a value of £35,000, or $43,600, before the auction.

However, the cache surpassed expectations when it sold for £60,000 ( $75,000), the BBC reports.

The Fooks couple said the money would help pay off their mortgage, per the BBC.

Business Insider contacted Duke's Auctioneers for comment.

Spectacular discoveries

The painting entitled "Judith Beheading Holofernes" pictured during its presentation in Paris, attributed to the Italian master Caravaggio
The painting entitled "Judith Beheading Holofernes" pictured during its presentation in Paris, France, April 12, 2016, attributed to the Italian master Caravaggio (1571-1610) and was discovered in an attic in Toulouse.REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In 2019, a similar discovery was made by another couple in England.

A hoard of 264 coins English gold coins from 1610-1727 was unearthed by an unnamed couple digging up their kitchen floor.

The trove was believed to have been once owned by a family of traders who made their fortunes in Baltic trading.

The collection sold at auction in 2022 for £754,000, or $842,330.

Small and easy to hide, coins feature in many of the secret troves unsuspecting homeowners have stumbled upon. Other lost artifacts have ranged from first editions of superhero comics to rare vintage cars.

But one of the most spectacular discoveries was an Italian Renaissance 16th-century masterpiece hidden under an old matress in an attic in France in 2014.

The "Judith Beheading Holofernes," believed to be a canvas by Caravaggio, was later sold for $170 million.

The unnamed family who shared the astonishing windfall speculated that work may have been spirited out of Italy by an ancestor who fought in Napoleon's army in the early 19th century, reports say.

Read the original article on Business Insider