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Lucky Logan strikes gold

Logan Black found a rare coin while on a family holiday at Castlepoint. PHOTO/SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI

Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

One lucky boy struck gold on the Castlepoint coast this week.

Now, his coveted coin is exciting enthusiasts both here and across the ditch. On Monday, at about lunchtime, 12-year-old Logan Black was playing with his 9-year-old sister Holly while on a family holiday at Castlepoint Beach.

“The tide was real, real close. I was just about to go around the coast rocks, where the barrier is, and then I decided to play a game and dodge the waves and I came across the coin in a rockpool,” Logan said [Holly interjected, “And I was there too!”].

“I thought it was a $2 coin, I was going to go to the dairy and then I saw it was 1856 and I held my hand like that [Logan shows me a tightly clenched fist] till we got to the end of the rocks.

“The sun was shining on it, so it looked really, really like a gold shiny colour … about that deep in the water,” he says, indicating about a one-inch space between his thumb and forefinger.

“We looked it up on the computer and it came out to be a really rare coin.”

The coin has since been verified as a genuine Australian sovereign, with collectors hoping to fly from as far as Auckland and Australia to have a look.

“He thought he was rich!” Holly said gleefully. And, he may well be – at least, for a 12-year-old.

The family ended their three-day trip slightly early in the hopes of heading over the hill to visit John Bertrand Collectables, a coin dealer in Wellington, mum Kylie Robinson said.

“Of course, the Remutakas was closed,” she said, “So we went [Wednesday] morning, first thing in the morning we headed over and he put them on the scales and said definitely a genuine one.”

While the value of the gold was estimated at $500, the value of the coin was harder to determine.

“Apparently you can get up to 170k,” said Logan, who is fast becoming a bit of a numismatist, although this would be for a coin which was uncirculated [“so it hasn’t touched anyone else’s hands, no scratches.”].

The family did a magnet test [“Gold is not magnetic, so when you stick it on a magnet, it doesn’t stick,” Logan said] and measured the coin.

“We didn’t have any scales to actually weigh it, so for a couple of days, we were trying not to get too hopeful,” Kylie said.

She’s been in touch with coin dealers both in New Zealand and Australia, though it’s hard to get a valuation without presenting the coin in person.

“There was quite a big range of prices,” Kylie said.

“It’s quite a sought-after coin, but depending on the condition.

“The coin dealer that we’ve dealt with over in Australia, they’ve just auctioned one the same … which he thinks was in worse condition than ours, was expected to fetch between A$4-5000. It did just sell at auction for A$3500.

“When you Google, it can be up to $8000 for the coin, so we’re just trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it.”

After discovering he might be able to buy more than a $2 lolly bag, Logan had his sights set on an airsoft gun.

The family had been wondering how the Australian coin had found its way to the east coast of New Zealand, suggesting it might have washed up in the latest storm.

While the family works on getting the coin properly graded, Logan, a Greytown School pupil, may have just found a new passion.

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