‘Amazing to find 200-year-old coin’

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

A rare 200-year-old foreign artefact has been discovered in the wall of a historic Clutha building.

Glenn Henderson was refurbishing a 1860s cottage in Lawrence last week, when he discovered a stash of unusual objects inside a wall.

Most remarkable of them was a low-denomination Spanish coin, estimated to have been produced in the 1820s.

“It was pretty amazing to find a 200-year-old coin — I wasn’t expecting that,” Mr Henderson said.

The cottage where the coin was found is situated in Ross Pl and is a decade›long project of the Lawrence Charitable and Cultural Heritage Trust.

“It’s quite a striking coin,” trust secretary Simone Budge said.

“I contacted the University of Otago and got some advice on it.”

It was believed coins of that type were in circulation in the American colonies during the 1820s and onwards.

“So we suppose that someone had it as a keepsake or a lucky charm when they emigrated.

“Perhaps as part of the gold rush, and it ended up being discovered again last week.”

Along with the coin a gold rush›era spoon and an engraved knife were found.

“It’s a tobacco penknife,” Mr Henderson said.

The trust had not yet decided what would become of the historical objects, but had provisional plans to present them for public view in the finished cottage, Mrs Budge said.

The cottage would be refurbished and rented out for commercial use, while retaining as much of its original structure and decor as possible, she said.