By Kirsty Topping
A DEVASTATED pensioner is offering a 10,000 reward for the return of a valuable coin collection he spent 40 years amassing.
David Pearson’s 50,000 haul of coins includes a Harold Penny dating back to the time of the Battle of Hastings and worth 5,000.
The 67-year-old, who made his fortune as a professional gambler, said the collection was deliberately targeted by the thieves who broke into his Edinburgh home.
He said of the reward:
“It’s a lot of money but it would be worth it to get my coins back.
“I’m devastated to think that the person who has them knows nothing about them and doesn’t cherish them and thinks they are just lumps of metal that they can sell for money,’ said Mr Pearson.
“That angers me. “
The most valuable coin taken during Monday’s raid is almost 1,000 years old.
Mr Pearson said:
“Among them is a Harold Penny, which I bought for 3,500 and is now worth 5,000, which is very rare. It’s not just a rare coin but at that time there were lots of different mint around the country and this is a rare mint.
“They also took three silver coins from the time of Mary Queen of Scots, called ryals, which are in very good condition.
“They have an unusual design on them of a tortoise climbing a palm tree which symbolizes unworthy man’s ascent to heaven. I bought them for 2,000 and they’d be worth double that now. “
“I don’t buy them just for the investment value though, I know the history behind them and how they were made too. “
Mr Pearson said the thieves knew what they were looking for when they targeted his home in the Comiston area.
“The house wasn’t ransacked, I’ve no doubt that the person knew what they were looking for.
“There were other coins in the house and money in a nearby drawer but all they took was the green bag. “
“It’s been hellish. It’s not just the loss of the 50,000, it’s having your house violated. I came home to find the glass broken. “
A police spokesman said: “We would urge specialist dealers to be on the look out for the coins as many of them are rare and distinctive and report anyone who tries to sell on these stolen items. “