Ancient gold coin circulated during reign of English Queen Boudicca as she fought the Romans sells at auction

The 2,000 year old coin, minted around the time of Christ’s birth, would have been current during Boudicca’s lifetime and recognisable as a coin to the legendary Queen.

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An ancient gold coin circulated during the reign of legendary English Queen Boudicca as she fought the Romans has sold at auction. The 2,000 year old coin, minted around the time of Christ’s birth, boasts an Iceni chariot on one side and a native East-Anglian design of a three-petalled flower - one of the earliest known depictions of the nation’s flora - on the other.

Historians believe the coin was minted in the decades surrounding Christ’s birth, anywhere between 50 BC and 50 AD. The precious item was stamped before language was commonly written - minters in the East-Anglian Iceni tribe did not inscribe their coins until their decline hundreds of years later.

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But Celtic coin expert at auctioneers Spink, Gregory Edmund, claims the coin would have been current during warrior Queen Boudicca’s lifetime and recognisable as a coin to her. He added there are no coins ascribed or struck by Boudicca directly.

At the end of her reign in 60 AD the warrior Queen led a rebellion against the Roman annexation of her kingdom, killing 70,000 Romans and setting Colchester, St. Albans and London ablaze. Shortly after her loss, Boudicca suddenly died.

Historians believe she either took poison, or was killed by sudden shock or illness. Mr Edmund said: “The Iceni tribe have been immortalised thanks to the exploits of their most famous warrior chieftain Queen Boudicca.

“She is best remembered for exacting her revenge against the Romans for their outrages against her family with her frightening war chariots and destruction of Colchester and London. Myth rarely mirrors historical fact but in the case of this wonderful coin you see the Iceni proudly emblazoning their money with their fabled super-weapon.

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“More surprisingly, Boudicca’s tribe has also chosen to depict a floral-motif to illustrate the source of their wealth; ultimately through the sustainable cultivation of the British landscape. This simple design has afforded us one of the earliest depictions of British plant life.

A gold coin featuring an Iceni war chariot struck whilst legendary English queen Boudicca fought the Romans has been sold at auction. A gold coin featuring an Iceni war chariot struck whilst legendary English queen Boudicca fought the Romans has been sold at auction.
A gold coin featuring an Iceni war chariot struck whilst legendary English queen Boudicca fought the Romans has been sold at auction.

“With the recent completion of the late monarch’s own Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy, the generations of tomorrow will continue to benefit from the legacy of these two rightly celebrated Queens.”

The coin sold for £2,040 and came from a Yorkshire academic’s private life-long collection.

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