Community News: Secret stash of HUNDREDS of gold coins – found in sock – achieves £118,000 at auction

A secret stash of more than 300 gold sovereigns – many found in an old sock – has sold for tens of thousands of pounds at auction.

Charles Hanson with some of the gold coins found in a linen box – Credit Nathan Fitzsimmons Hansons

Hansons Auctioneers were stunned to uncover gold worth around £100,000 while carrying out a routine house clearance in Leicestershire. Their team were checking through a linen chest and right at the bottom, hidden among sheets, in pillow cases and an old sock were 331 gold coins.

Charles Hanson with some of the gold coins found in a linen box – Credit Nathan Fitzsimmons Hansons

The astonishing haul of sovereigns, which spanned three centuries from Queen Victoria’s reign in the 1800s to the 21st century, went under the hammer at Hertfordshire auction house Hanson Ross on January 17 and every lot sold. Each coin was valued at between £300-£500 and the collection achieved a total, with buyer’s premium, of £118,000 (hammer £90,768).

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “It was an amazing find, made after a client instructed us to clear a house. Our team are renowned for being thorough. They check over every inch of a house. It’s not just about fine or fragile objects on display, it’s the hidden items that are often the most valuable. 

“These are found in drawers, wardrobes, cupboards, bags and, in this case, even an old sock. People have a multitude of hiding places. Sometimes it’s a case of hide and seek. In this case workers were checking through the attic and linen in a bedroom chest when the coins were discovered.

“You can imagine their amazement. First, they saw the golden glint of one gold coin, and then handfuls emerged. Some were hidden in a pillow case and many others were tucked away in a sock. Our client was flabbergasted and delighted in equal measure. They had no idea the house contained a treasure trove of gold.

“You hear about people stashing cash under the bed but this was quite extraordinary. Normally gold of this value would have been kept locked away in a safe or bank vault.  The coins were most probably amassed over many years but no-one, aside from their late owner, knew they existed.

“The coins were in hot demand under the hammer because gold is sought after and prices are strong. The collection sparked a white glove sale, an auction term used when every single lot sells.”

Charles Hanson with some of the gold coins which were found in a linen box – Credit Nathan Fitzsimmons Hansons

The sovereigns included coins dating back to the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign which began in 1937. The earliest Queen Victoria sovereign was minted in 1846 while another was dated 1901, the year of her death. Other monarchs depicted on the coins through the centuries included King Edward VII, King George V and Queen Elizabeth II.

“It was like a walk through 300 years of history,” said Charles. “The collection captured the passage of time due to different monarchs represented on the sovereigns. They also reminded us of the length of their reigns. Due to long periods on the throne, Victoria and Elizabeth’s coin profiles alter through the decades.”

The single-owner gold sovereign collection was sold on 17th January, 2024 at Hanson Ross, Royston, Hertfordshire.

Enquiries/valuations/house clearance: | 01283 733988

HANSON ROSS – Charles Hanson with some of the gold coins found hidden in linen and a sock. Coins in the collection which sold at auction – please refer to images on captions



Hansons Auctioneers was launched by Derbyshire-born Charles Hanson in 2005. He is known for appearances on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.

Hansons’ headquarters:

The Auction Centre, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS. London:

The Normansfield Theatre, 2a Langdon Park, Teddington, TW11 9PS ∙ Staffordshire: Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 0XN ∙ Oxfordshire: Hanson Holloway’s Ross, 49 Parsons Street, Banbury, 0X16 5NB ∙ Kent: Hansons Royal Tunbridge Wells, The Pantiles Arcade, 49 The Lower Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TE ∙ Bedfordshire: hansonross.comHertfordshire: Unit 1 The Power House, Lumen Road, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7AG Nottinghamshire: Valuation and Consignment Centre, Memory Lane Antiques, 14 Queen Street, Southwell, NG25 0AA

Hansons Auctioneers offer free antique valuations, probate/insurance services and a wide range of general and specialist auctions.

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Unit 1 The Power House, Lumen Road, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7AG