The incredibly rare gold coin was found by the unnamed treasure hunter as he searched a newly-ploughed field next to an old Roman road near Dover, Kent. The 30-year-old finder thought the coin was fake at first as it was in such good condition. He realised it was genuine when he weighed it at hefty 4.31 grams. It dates back to 293AD and the reign of Emperor Allectus – the ‘first Brexiteer’ who took Britain out of the Roman Empire.
The 24 carat gold coin, known as an Aureus, has just one matching example in in the world which is in the British Museum.
As as result it is tipped to sell for a six-figure sum when it goes under the hammer at London auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb.
The coin, which was found last month, can be sold as under the existing Treasure Act single gold coins do not count as treasure and as such the coroner does not have to be notified.
The are controversial plans to revise the current legislation that include redefining single gold coins as treasure upon their discovery.
The finder, who is a portrait artist, will have to split the proceeds of the sale 50/50 with the landowner.
The coin, the first Allectus example to be discovered in 50 years, is roughly the size of a one penny piece.
The detectorist said: “This really is the find of a lifetime for me and the greatest discovery I have made by miles.
“At first I was quite sceptical of its authenticity because it was so shiny but when I realised what it could be potentially I just completely freaked out by it.
“It was then authenticated by the British Museum and the specialist there was just as ecstatic as me. He said it was one of the best finds he had ever seen.
“I’ve never found anything like it in seven years of detecting nd I’m still gobsmacked now.
“The landowner has been made aware and is obviously really excited.
“I don’t have any plans for the money at the moment but the first thing the landowner said to me was that they would be going on holiday.
“I actually wish I could afford to keep the coin but unfortunately it’s way out of my range.
“The field doesn’t really have any history of Roman coinage. I’ve searched it before without finding anything but made the discovery about 45 minutes into this search.”
Allectus ruled in Britain and northern Gaul from 293 to 296AD.
He is best known for his to attempts to lead a rebel empire, effectively annexing Britain from Rome.
He has been dubbed by many as a ‘Brexiteer of his day’ and was assassinated in battle in 296AD.
The coin depicts a noble-looking Allectus on one side and on the obverse has two captives kneeling at the feet of Apollo.
Nigel Mills, of a coin consultant from Dix Noonan Webb, said: “This is an amazing find and is one of the finest condition coins out there.
“I’ve never seen one like it in my 40 years of work so it really is a remarkable discovery.
“We would expect it to attract a lot of interest as it just has everything going for it.
“The rarity is there, the condition is there and it’s made of 24 carat gold all of which make it an fantastic coin.”
The sale takes place on June 12.