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Ancient gold crown discovered tucked away in cardboard box

Published Wednesday 1st June 2016

It’s fair to say that having gold jewellery in your collection means you’ll always be able to raise some extra cash when times are tight and when you come to sell your broken or unwanted pieces, you might be surprised just how much value they have.

But while the price of gold is currently strong and prices for scrap jewellery are reflecting that, you’re unlikely to raise as much cash as a very old piece of gold jewellery that’s been discovered in Dorset.

The pure gold crown, found in an old cardboard box, is believed to be Greek and date from 300BC. It is going up for auction, where it could make £100,000.

The crown is made from gold fashioned into leaves and put together in the shape of a wreath. Evidence of dirt on the piece make auctioneers think it had been buried at some point and was dug up by archaeologists.

The seller, who prefers to remain anonymous, received the crown as part of his inheritance from his grandfather who was a keen collector of ancient artefacts. It’s believed he may have acquired the piece during the 1940s or 1950s when he was travelling abroad.

Guy Schwinge, from auctioneers Dukes of Dorchester, told the Bournemouth Echo: "It is eight inches across and weighs about 100 grams. It's pure gold and handmade, it would have been hammered out by a goldsmith.

"The wreath is in very nice condition for something that's 2,300 years old. It's a very rare antiquity to find, they don't turn up often. I've never seen one in my career before."

The piece will be auctioned on June 9.

So, if you have any pieces of old gold jewellery tucked away that you’ve inherited but never worn and have no intention of doing so, it’s certainly worth your while finding out what they are worth.