600-year-old English coin found in Canada

(ORDO NEWS) — The discovery of a rare gold coin on the south coast of Newfoundland, Canada may challenge traditional historical narratives about the time of European discovery of the region, as it predates explorer John Cabot’s arrival on the island by at least 70 years.

In a press release last week, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador said the English coin was found in the summer of 2022 by Edward Hynes, a local amateur historian who reported it to officials under the province’s Historic Resources Act.

The 600-year-old coin predates the first documented European contact with North America since the Vikings, in a region with a 9,000-year history of human settlement and rich indigenous traditions.

After consultation with Paul Berry, a former curator at the Bank of Canada Currency Museum, the coin was identified as a Henry VI noble coin minted in London between 1422 and 1427.

In the 1400s, a coin represented a significant amount of money. (1 shilling 8 pence, or about 81 Canadian dollars (61 US dollars) today).

Prior to this discovery, a coin minted in the 1490s and found in 2021 at the Cove Cupid Plantation Provincial Historic Site was believed to be the oldest English coin ever found in Canada.

Since Berry says the coin probably went out of circulation when it was lost, there is much speculation about exactly how the noble coin from the gold quarter found its way to Newfoundland and Labrador.

The exact location is being kept secret so as not to lure treasure hunters, writes CNN.


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