Inherited house was stuffed with gold

gold market
gold market

A French man has discovered millions of pounds worth of gold squirrelled away in a house he inherited from a relative.

Auctioneer Nicolas Fierfort, of Normandy, was called in by the unknown homeowner to value furniture. But when the owner started moving the furniture around, he found a tin box containing coins screwed to the underside of one item - and this was only the start.

More gold was quickly found in a whisky bottle box, and then in dozens of other spots around the house.

"It was under the furniture, under piles of linen, in the bathroom... everywhere," M Fierfort tells AFP. "There were 5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos and 37 ingots of 1 kilo."

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All in all, the gold, which weighed a massive 220 pounds, is believed to have been bought in the 1950s and 60s and was valued at €3.5 million ($3.7 million).

All the relevant certificates of authenticity turned up too, and the gold has already been sold off to buyers from around the world in several batches over the last few weeks.

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However, according to local newspaper Depeche, the find may have a sting in the tail. The owner will not only have to pay 45% inheritance tax on the gold, he or she will also have to stump up three years in back wealth taxes if the previous owner failed to do so.

The find came at a very good time. In the 1950s and 1960s, when the gold was bought, the price was well under $300 an ounce. This year, it's been trading at over $1,300. And while the price plummeted following Donald Trump's election to the White House, this particular stash was all sold off in the previous weeks.

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Of course, gold can often have a value beyond its weight - for example, the small 18th-century gold coin recently discovered in a child's toy box.

It turned out to be one of only 20 five-guinea pieces made of gold seized from Spanish treasure ships in Vigo Bay, Spain, in 1702 - and worth £250,000.