Archeological dig in Newfoundland unearths what could be Canada's oldest English coin

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CUPIDS, N.L. — An archeologist in eastern Newfoundland says his team has unearthed what could be the oldest English coin ever found in Canada.

William Gilbert, head archeologist at the Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site, says the small silver coin was minted sometime between 1493 and 1499.

Known as a Henry VII 'half groat,' or twopenny piece, the nickel-sized coin was minted in Canterbury, England, more than 500 years ago.

Gilbert says he came to that conclusion after consulting with Paul Berry, former curator of the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum.

In 2001, an Elizabethan coin — dated 1560-1561 — was found at the same site in Newfoundland, and at the time it was considered the oldest English coin ever found in Canada.

Settled in 1610 by Bristol merchant John Guy, the plantation is the site of one of the earliest English settlements in North America.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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