Grandson buys 'UK's biggest gold cross' in memory of his Peterborough gran - and hopes Tyson Fury will save it from being scrapped

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“As soon as I saw that cross, it reminded me of her. I had to buy it for nan. I had to save it from being melted down.”

A giant gold crucifix and chain – thought to be the biggest in the UK – is set for auction after a grandson bought it in memory of his Peterborough nan to save it from being melted down.

Andreo Montanino spotted the heavy-weight chain in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the window of a bullion dealer.

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He bought the chain as he believed his nan, who lived in Peterborough, would ‘hate’ to see it melted down. Now it is set to go under the hammer, with an estimate of £30,000.

Andreo Montanino with the gold crossAndreo Montanino with the gold cross
Andreo Montanino with the gold cross

Andreo (33) said: “My nan would have hated that (it being melted down). She was highly religious, a Roman Catholic who originated from Italy. She believed items like this, Jesus on the cross, were sacred and should be treated with the utmost respect.

"I lost her about 18 months ago. She was in her 80s. As soon as I saw that cross, it reminded me of her. I had to buy it for nan. I had to save it from being melted down. I was in the right place at the right time. I found it at a bullion place where people send gold to be scrapped and items are usually processed quickly.

“That was three months ago. Now I hope bringing it to auction will help me find someone who will treasure it. Because it’s so special, a showpiece, it would work well if it was worn around the neck of a famous boxer on the walkout to the ring, someone like Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.

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“It’s perfect for a sportsman, celebrity or someone from the music world who likes to make a big statement, perhaps a rapper. I see it featuring on a programme like MTV’s Cribs or being bought by a famous basketball or NFL player.”

Andreo Montanino with the crossAndreo Montanino with the cross
Andreo Montanino with the cross

The cross and chain, which together weigh around 1.5 kilos, will be offered at Hansons Auctioneers on September 22 with an estimate of £30,000.

Andreo said: “I really hope it finds a good home because that’s what nan would have wanted. She lived in Peterborough and was heavily involved with the Italian community and the Catholic church. I remember her buying a statue for her church. Religious icons were important to her.

"She was a wonderful nan and as the first of her four grandchildren I had to do right by her.”

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Helen Smith, Head of Jewellery at Hansons, said: “I have never seen anything like this, or as big as this, before and we might not see anything like it again. It’s extra special. The chain links are huge and quality workmanship has gone into creating the iconic religious imagery of the crucifix.

“I love that Andreo bought this to honour his nan. It certainly deserves to go round the neck of a man who excels in sport or an important celebrity. It’s really heavy so if you plan to wear it for any length of time you need to be strong! Tyson Fury would be perfect as he is a devout Christian. Like Andreo’s nan, he would appreciate the religious significance and symbolism of the item.”

For more information, email [email protected].