Andreas Øfstedal Clausen was out collecting seashells with his father along the Åbyfjord in Bamble last spring when he found something that proved to be much more valuable — a rare English gold coin from 1350 for which he’s now been rewarded.
He was just five when he spotted the coin amidst rocks and seashells on the beach at Bamble, on the coast of Telemark County. His father Bård Clausen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that “my son came up to me and said, ‘see what I found, pappa, can it be a gold coin?'”
His dad wasn’t sure, so they did some research when they got home to Oslo and then turned the coin over to the local Museum of Cultural History. Atle Omland of the state historical preservation agency Riksantikvaren could identify it as an English coin called a “nobel.” It featured King Edward III of England and was in circulation for just over 100 years, Omland said.
Such discoveries are rare in Norway and both Andreas and father did the right thing, Omland noted. “It’s important to deliver such coins to the museum, because it gives us knowledge and shows what kinds of coins were used in the Middle Ages,” Omland told NRK. It’s also illegal not to turn them in, because all coins found in Norway that date from before 1650 are considered state property.
Andreas was rewarded this week with a finder’s fee of NOK 4,000 (nearly USD 700). “We’ve talked a bit about buying a metal detector,” his father Bård told NRK. “Maybe we’ll do that now.”