14th-century French gold coin discovered in a secret furniture drawer

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20 February 2019
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A 14th-century French gold coin potentially worth thousands has been discovered in a secret furniture drawer – much to the delight of its stunned owner.

Derbyshire mum-of-three Amy Clapp, 37, had no idea the coin - or the secret drawer - existed after being randomly left a 20th-century bureau by a long-lost distant cousin.

And she would have missed out on her golden windfall but for Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers, where she dispatched the bureau to sell after clearing it out. She thought she’d checked all the nooks and crannies and was oblivious to the treasure within.

But three secret drawers existed in the bureau which Edward Rycroft, furniture valuer at Hansons, found when he came to value it.

He said: “I know bureaus like this often have tiny, secret drawers – sometimes called coin drawers - so I always check them just in case.But in 10 years of valuing furniture I have never found anything in them - until now.”

Much to his amazement, he discovered a 22ct gold coin hidden in a secret drawer. It turned out to be rare, more than 650 years old and highly valuable.

The Raymond IV Prince of Orange Franc A Pied coin dates back to 1365. Its guide price is £1,200-£1,800 but the experts at Hansons think it could sell for as much as £3,000. According to their coin valuer Don Collins, it’s very unusual. In more than half a century of coin valuing he has never seen one exactly like it.

Mrs Clapp, a family support worker who lives near Swadlincote in South Derbyshire, said:

“I’m delighted. I was working in London when Edward phoned me. As a family, we’ve had some bad luck in the last two years, so for something like this to happen to us is amazing.

The gold coin will go into Hansons’ March 21 Coins Auction. To find out more, email service@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk