A coin dating back more than 400 years to the reign of Elizabeth I has been unearthed in Stanground, Peterborough by an eagle-eyed teenager.
Charlene Moles (13) was walking along Stanground Back Water with her mum Amanda Moles (39) when a small, shiny object caught her eye.
She spotted the coin lying on the path after her mum had kicked it, mistaking it for a bottle top, as they walked past a trench which had been dug up by workmen laying down fibre optic cables.
The teenager, a pupil at Stanground Academy, was instantly intrigued by the tiny, silver-coloured item, which has insignia and lettering on both sides.
Charlene, of Aydon Road, Park Farm, Peterborough, took the coin to show experts at Peterborough Museum who were able to confirm that it is a silver hammer sixpence dating back from 1575.
Only 260 of the coins have ever been discovered and its value today could be as much as £750.
But Charlene has no plans to part company with the coin, which she wants to keep and put in a frame along with a certficiate proving its authenticity.
Charlene said: “It was really exciting to find the coin and just by looking at it you can tell that it is probably very old.
“It has letters and numerals written on both side but unless you’re a coin expert it’s impossible to work out what the writing means.
“The experts at the museum were really fascinated by it and they were able to decipher the writing and get the date.
“They also told me that it is definitely not a fake because of the way the insignia is designed with a rose on it.”
Charlene’s dad Terry Moles (52) added: “We have been looking online at websites like eBay to estimate how much the coin is worth and some people have said it could reach £750.
“I said to Charlene that because she found the coin it was up to her what she wanted to do with it.
“She’s a very level-headed girl and she told me that she wants to keep it to show her children in the future.
“We’re waiting to receive a certificate of authenticity and then Charlene will put that in a frame along with the coin.
“Charlene is very interested in marine biology and discovering things underwater but now she can say she’s found something exciting on dry land.”
Elizabethan sixpences were minted periodically between 1561 and 1602.
The money and currency of that period was all in coins - there was no paper money.
All of the coins minted during the period were made from either silver or gold, with 240 pennies equalling an English pound.
A pound in the Elizabethan period would equate to around £250 in today’s currency.