This gold mancus of Ecgberht of Wessex is going to auction with Dix Noonan Webb and is expected to fetch £200,000. The find is exceptional and very rare. It is only the 6th example of an Anglo-Saxon coin known from the mid-8th to the late 9th century and is the only one in private hands. All five other examples of gold coins from this period are in the national collection of the British Museum.
It was found near the village of West Dean in March 2020. The unnamed finder, a detectorist of eight years, was searching a pasture when he had a strong signal. Digging down seven inches he unearthed what he thought was a gold-plated button. On feeling the weight of the coin, he realised it was something more significant. It is recorded at the PAS as HAMP-D05C62. The PAS designated it a Find of Note: National Importance.
On the obverse is the Saxon Monogram surrounded by the legend ECGBEORHT REX, giving the name of the king. On the reverse is BOZA MONETA gives the name of the moneyer, Bosa. The mint is probably Southampton or Winchester. The design is from a penny issued for Ecgberht in the last decade of his reign. There is some debate as to whether it was struck for a defined special economic role or issued for use as gifts or donations.