The extraordinary collection was amassed by Ron Fletcher, a Grimsby businessman who developed an interest in the hobby after his 13-year-old son Mark asked for a metal detector for Christmas.
The boy’s interest lasted a mere three years, but Ron carried on detecting for the next 40 years, winning numerous awards, taking part in organised enthusiast events at sites around the county, as well as personal expeditions all over the region.
His finds included countless historic coins, including the entry that is expected to be the star of the auction - a quarter ‘stater’, a 2000-year-old gold coin he unearthed at Swinhope near Binbrook.
Paul Cooper of auctioneers Eddisons CJM said: “The stater was one of the first coins to be seen in Britain, originally brought across the Channel from the Continent.
“This coin was minted by the Ambiani Tribe, one of the Celtic tribes that lived in the Amiens area of Northern France in the first century BC.
“It is a small thing, just 15.1mm in diameter and weighing 2.98 gms, but it is a proper coin with the image of Apollo on the head side and a charioteer on the tail side.
“Small or not, the expectation is that it will make £300-£500.”
The auction also includes many English coins, dating from the medieval period onwards.
There is silver coinage, as well as groats, pennies, farthings and the like, as far back as the reign of Richard I (1189-1199), onwards through the Tudors and Stuarts into the 18th and 19th centuries.
Paul added: “Ron’s recording was meticulous, so we know that coins were unearthed at sites around the county, including Market Rasen, Binbrook, Brookenby, Tealby and Waltham.”
Paul continued: “The coins are though just a part of this enormous collection.
“The thousands of objects that were unearthed cover an amazing assortment of the things that people have dropped or lost or discarded or perhaps even hidden in the last 2,000 years.
“They include jewellery, Saxon and Roman brooches, buckles, lead letter seals, weights, pins, rings and more.
“There are of course lots of easily lost things like metal buttons, including incidentally one button from the uniform of the Grimsby Corporation Tramways, the organisation that ran the town’s streetcars in the period 1925-37.
“Then there are objects that are completely unexpected, like the half dozen whistles dating back to the Victorian period, including four Acme Thunderers, famed as the world’s first sports whistle, designed back in 1884.”
The Fletcher Family Metal Detecting Finds and Collectables Auction catalogue is available at
The online auction is scheduled to end at 1pm tomorrow (Wednesday April 20).