One of the rarest gold coins in the world has been found by a widow from Wells in Kent. The unnamed woman was searching through a chest of drawers used by her late husband when she came upon the coin. She took it auctioneers Gorringes who were astounded to find that it was none other than a Queen Anne Vigo guinea piece.
The coin was struck in 1703 to celebrate the Anglo-Dutch naval victory over a Franco-Spanish fleet the previous year during the War of the Spanish Succession.
Its minting was overseen by the then Master of the Royal Mint, Sir Isaac Newton and used gold captured from a Spanish galleon at the battle. Marked with the word ‘VIGO’ on the obverse, only twenty of the gold coins were struck, with just fifteen still known to be in existence and all in private ownership.
With this sort of provenance and rarity it is easy to see why an estimation of between £80,000 and £120,000 has been placed on the coin, with some believing it likely to fetch nearer £150,000 when it goes to auction. Leslie Gilham, of Gorringes, commented: “This coin is in an extremely fine condition. It is very rare and one of the most desirable gold coins around.”