• pound sterling coins
  • pound coin with queens head
  • silver ingot

Have you ever wondered what’s hidden in the crevices of your settee cushions? A couple of quid, maybe – you hear stories of people racking up quite a sum when they dig them out. Maybe a half eaten biscuit or two, long stale from months of neglect. Try this on for size…

During a routine house clearance on the 25th January in Northamptonshire, the men and women stumbled across quite the find behind the sofa – a zipped up suitcase which contained more than 100 22 carat-gold sovereigns and 16 solid silver bars.

This gold (and silver)mine was discovered by auctioneer Jonathan Humbert. Speaking to the BBC about discovering the suitcase, Mr Humbert commented, “I went to pick it up and I almost pulled my shoulder out of its socket, it was so heavy – so I had to drag it out unceremoniously. It was incredible. My eyes lit up – it was quite a find.”  – Hardly surprising, given each solid silver bar weighed 1kg each. Each bar was engraved by Swiss bullion makers, Metalor.

At auction on Tuesday at J P Humbert Auctions in Whittlebury, each piece of the suitcase stash was sold separately with bids ranging from £190 to £480. The sovereigns, each weighing 8 grams, were thought to be dated between 1958 and 1967, with Elizabeth II on one side, and St George slaying the dragon on the other. They were all valued at over £200. The whole lot went under the hammer, and sold at auction for over £30,000.

The discovery of this treasure trove couldn’t come at a better time – 2017 marks the 200th Anniversary of the ‘Modern Gold Sovereign’ – this marks the year when the traditional Tudor rose emblem was replaced by the depiction of St George slaying the dragon.