Roman coin discovered by children’s hospice team

by | 3 July 2019 | Local Charity, Rotherham, Worksop

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice cashed in when one of its eagle-eyed team sifted through a batch of coins from its collecting tins. Among the mini mountain of small change was a Roman coin dating from c.330AD. How it got there remains a mystery.

But as the coin is similar in appearance to a penny piece, hospice fundraisers are now wondering if the coin minted in the era of Constantine the Great, has been rattling around in circulation for centuries!

“Either that or someone recently unearthed it and inadvertently the coin got into their pocket,” said Sue Brown, eBay Sales Administrator at the Hospice, “Whatever the circumstances, we are very grateful they popped it into one of our collecting tins. We managed to sell it on eBay for £25.00.”

The collector’s item was snapped up by Ceri Pratt, from Sheffield. She said, “I saw on Facebook that Bluebell Wood had a Roman coin for sale on eBay. It was a win-win for me! I saw an opportunity to own a piece of history and support the hospice at the same time.”

The hospice sells many of the more valuable or unusual donations it receives on eBay. Sue explained: “The coin was in a huge box of foreign and discontinued coins our volunteers had amassed from our collecting tins.

“To date we have also discovered an 1807 Spanish Real, which we sold for £32.00, a number of Georgian cartwheel pennies which raised around £20.00 each and a number of commemorative £1.00, £2.00 and 50p coins which all went for more than their face value to collectors.

“I research all items before listing and based the price on what others in a similar condition have sold for before. We were very excited to find the Roman coin, but then we discovered that the Roman Empire was so huge, a vast number of coins have been found and so they are not usually valuable. However, it was still a fantastic find and I’m glad Ceri is happy with the piece.”

Sue, of Kiveton Park, was an avid car-booter and eBay seller when she became a hospice reception volunteer seven years ago. Her talents were soon spotted and she set up the eBay division.

eBay sales bring the North Anston-based hospice a profit of around £20,000 every year, which goes to help children and young people with life-threatening illnesses throughout South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire.

Said Sue: “Every day is like Christmas for me and my trusty volunteers. Our shops pass on any donations that look unusual and we have found lots of treasures that way. The first item I sold for Bluebell Wood was a Royal Daulton figure of the Pope for £100.

“I once listed a bottle containing a King Cobra preserved in formaldehyde which was snapped up for £19.99, and a full-sized native American canoe with paddles which made us £400!”

The most lucrative lot was a 1970s Hi-Fi system, pristine in its original box, which sold for £1,000 to a buyer in Sweden.

Other finds include a rare early 1880 Besson trumpet, windsurfing equipment and 20 sets of golf clubs, which were bought by a youth group.

Anyone with an unusual or valuable item to donate can contact the hospice on 01909 517360.