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Man died with secret stash of rare Saxon coins worth £185k hidden in his caravan

A grieving family was stunned to discover a hoard of ancient coins worth almost £200,000 hidden in his possessions after he died.

John Cross, 76, died with very few of his friends or family members knowing about the extensive Saxon stash.

The pensioner picked up a staggering 80 coins in just 30 years, with a particular interest in Anglo-Saxon-era memorabilia, early buildings and churches.

His extensive collection included a commemorative coin from the Battle of Hastings, a 1,400-year-old gold shilling and a penny minted for the infamous Beowulf back in 823.

While the hobbyist was quiet about the cash during his lifetime, experts have dubbed the late Mr. Cross’ collation as "among the most important of its kind outside any UK museum".

The dosh was discovered in Mr. Cross’ caravan near Canterbury, Kent.

His executors allegedly found documents detailing the whereabouts of the stash while assessing the rest of his belongings.

Each coin was valued and sold at auction on 3 rd October. The most valuable item in the collection was an incredibly rare gold Thrymsa shilling. The coin was minted between 640 and 660, originating from either Northumbria or York. It sold at an eye-watering £17,500.

The Hastings gold shilling went for a similarly jaw-dropping £12,000. A silver penny minted between 757 and 796 for Cynethryth, Queen of the Mercians also sold for £7,500. All in all, the collection totalled at over £185,000.

A spokesperson for Mr. Cross’ executors spoke in detail about his client’s hidden interest. “It appears he was very much into researching Anglo Saxon and medieval history and had quietly amassed a sizeable collection”, he said.

“He even held a certificate in archaeological excavation, for which he qualified back in 2010 when he was in his 60s”.

The proceeds raised by the auction were split between Mr. Cross’ non-profit groups of choice. The British Numismatic Society, an organisation for promoting the study of British coins and medals, benefitted alongside the Friends of Kent Churches charity.

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