Quite a number of detectorists have dug up an Ancient British gold stater but the majority have never had a sniff of one. Much depends on where you have permission to search. A good number come out of southern and eastern (up to Yorkshire) areas, which were occupied by Ancient British tribes. Hardly any have come from anywhere else. Pictured here is a really delightful gold stater (6.20 grams, 18.30mm in diameter). The finder, Brian Mansfield, described as beautiful. For those who aren’t ‘into’ Ancient British coins it will be ‘Yet another with a horse on one side’. Those who do like this series would love to have found this coin and will like it even more after reading my description.
North East Coast Type
The stater is an example of the North East Coast type, which is listed in the Standard Catalogue as number 29 but it was struck by the Corieltavi. Ancient British Coins (published by Chris Rudd) goes into more detail and lists more varieties for this type. After finding the coin Brian reported it. It was identified as number 1731 in Ancient British Coins (a North East Coast Sun type). However, Brian said he had traced similar coins but not exactly the same so he wanted to know if the ID was correct. Well, this is a North East Coast type stater but it isn’t ABC 1731.
The obverse has the usual wreath motif but at the top are two distinct lines of pellets. The reverse has a disjointed horse facing left, with five large pellets above and what might be meant to represent the hand of a charioteer, a ring and dot over the horse’s head, a pellet below the horse and sloping lines under the ground line. The obverse looks peculiar and differs from the norm as it is inverted. Had it been ABC 1731 it would have been very rare but the inverted obverse make a whole load of difference. This turns this stater into a coin that is excessively rare. I traced only one specimen, which was struck from very similar but slightly different dies to this coin. It’s so rare that it isn’t in Ancient British Coins, which is the most comprehensive reference work on the period.
As if that isn’t enough, it is also in superb condition. It’s an excellent strike and looks as good as it did when the hammerman took it from between the dies. Therefore, all in all, this is one of the most important Ancient British gold staters that I’ve been privileged to write about. My heartiest congratulations go to Brian Mansfield.
Brian required a valuation purposes so I said not less than £4,000.
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