A 25 year old man from the United Kingdom discovered an ancient Greek coin in his garden and a Ming-style Chinese vase in his mother’s attic.
The coin dates back to the fourth century BC and was probably minted during the reign of Alexander the Great.
Both items could fetch hundreds or even thousands at auction.
The unlikely find was made in the man’s garden whilst he was busy weeding the lawn. The man, who has chosen to remain unnamed, saw the coin glinting in the sunlight.
The ancient Greek coin was kept in a drawer in his mother’s attic for two years and largely forgotten until he went back up into the attic to clear out ahead of a planned house move. It was here that he made another extraordinary discovery.
In the attic, he also found an old bronze vase. The vase later turned out to be a Chinese Ming-style object his late father had bought from an antique dealer years before.
The ancient Greek coin
“It’s known as a tetradrachm and this example would have been minted during the reign of Alexander the Great in circa 336-323 BC. The tetradrachm was nominally equivalent to four drachmae. Over time it effectively became the standard coin of antiquity, spreading well beyond the borders of the Greek World,” Hanson also said.
Both finds are historically valuable, a fact reflected in their value at auction.
The Ming-style vase has already been sold. It went at auction for £1,450 at auction, which was more than twice the guide price of £500 to £700.
The ancient Greek coin has not been sold yet but is also expected to fetch a high price. “Due to their often high artistic level, tetradrachms are keenly collected today, and well-preserved or rare specimens can achieve strong prices,” Hanson said.
When the coin goes under the hammer on March 8, it is expected to fetch at least £200 to £300, but as the sale of the vase demonstrated, it could go for much more.
The coin was also worth a lot when it was in use in the fourth century. “In its day this coin could have brought luxuries such as jewelry, horses, or weapons. It was worth four times a man’s daily wage,” Hanson said.