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Rare coins found at Breton manor exceed auction hopes and sell for €1m

The money for the 235 gold coins will be shared between the property owner and the artisans who found the coins during renovation work, with a special souvenir for each to keep

Bids on the coins came in from all over. Pic: nampix / Shutterstock

Two hundred and thirty-five gold coins found at a Breton manor house were sold at auction yesterday for nearly three times their €300,000 estimate.

The total amount raised by the sale came to €830,000 excluding fees, which are expected to take the total to over €1,000,000.

Artisans working on the property in Finistère discovered 239 rare gold coins in 2019. Four of the coins were kept back as souvenirs for the owner and the workers.

One of the 17th century coins, which dates back as far as 1638-1692 and was minted in 19 different cities, was especially rare. 

The ‘double Louis d'or’ is believed to be one of only 120 examples in the world. This one was made in Dijon in 1646.

All the coins were sold individually at La Maison Ivoire auction house in Angers. 

The two most sought-after coins in the collection, valued at €8,000 each, ultimately sold for €46,000 apiece. The rest were valued at €600 to €2,900, with several selling for €1,200.

Bids on the coins were received online, over the phone and in the auction room. Nineteen coins were reserved for the Musée de la Monnaie in Paris.

Half of the proceeds of the auction will go to the three workmen who found them, and the other half to the owners, in accordance with the rules for the ownership of ‘discovered treasure’ in France. 

One of the artisans who found the cache was a ‘Compagnon du devoir’ craftsman, a status reserved for young apprentices.

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