Hundreds of rare gold coins excavated from the walls of a remote French mansion sold for more than a million euros ($1.2 million) at auction on Wednesday.
Stonemasons discovered 239 pieces of gold that were mined before the French Revolution, when they began renovating property near Quimper in the western Brittany region, auctioneer Ivor/Deloise said.
The family kept four coins as mementos and put the rest up for auction in the western city of Angers, with an estimated value of 250,000–300,000 euros.
Bids for a very rare double Louis d’Or, depicting Louis XIV and dating from 1646, were opened for 8,000 euros. It went for 46,000 euros, the same price as the Louis d’Or from Paris of 1640 and was stamped with the Templar Cross.
“Bids were flying in from everywhere – in the room, on the Internet and on the telephone,” auctioneer Florian D’Ossonville said.
The 2019 discovery was now only reported after the owners handed it over to the auction house for sale.
The proceeds were to be shared between the owners and the three artisans who found the gold.
D’Oysonville told AFP that the coins, hidden in metal boxes, probably constituted the savings of a wealthy merchant or landowner.
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