A £1 coin is up for auction this month, and is expected to sell for at least £30,000. The huge price tag is due to the historical importance – and rarity – of the coin – which was struck in 1643 at the start of the English Civil War.
It’s known as the 1643 Declaration Pound, and it was made in Oxford – which is where Charles I was based after he left London. It was the first coin of a new mint, set up in New Inn Hall to create a new official currency for the parts of the country that were in Royalist control.
The inscription on the back underlines the king’s confidence in his enduring power, saying: “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.” However, within six years, the monarch had been beheaded.
Almost six month’s pay earned by a soldier fighting in the English Civil War will provide a windfall its finder.
The 18 silver and gold coins uncovered in a garden in Nerrols Farm, Taunton, totalled £5 5s 3¾d – 5½ months’ wages for a common soldier in the 17th Century and £450 in today’s value.
But the hoard, probably belonging to a Royalist soldier and left during the siege of Taunton in 1645, could fetch thousands of pounds when it is bought by the town’s Museum of Somerset.
It’s also possible that these were someone’s life savings, hidden before he went off to fight or simply for safekeeping in uncertain times.