Metal Detectorist Finds a Gold Hatpin That May Have Belonged to Edward IV


Hatpins aren’t exactly fashionable to wear in our times, but they used to be very popular among medieval kings. According to Smithsonianthere is a particular gold hatpin that is hitting the auction and could sell for upwards of $13,000. It is believed that it belonged to King Edward IV of England.

What’s more, a woman from if completely by chance. She was just scanning around a field near Horncastle, Lincolnshire with her metal detector. Then suddenly, she found the hatpin.


King Eduard IV’s reigns lasted from 1461-1470 and 1471-1483. The hatpin features the Sun-shaped motif that he was seen to use oftentimes. The meteorological phenomenon in the hatpin is called a parhelion, which means “Sun dog”.

“Edward, the Earl of March, told his men this was a sign from God representing the Holy Trinity and was proof that God would lead them to victory. The Yorkists were victorious that day and Edward was proclaimed king a month later, after which he adopted the ‘Sunne in Splendour’ as his personal emblem.” Duke describes the pin in its website.

Another characteristic of the hatpin is the amethyst that’s found at the center of the sun. This jewel was believed to protect warriors during battles. And it’s specifically purple to show royalty.

In the picture below, you can see a young Henry VII wearing a hatpin similar to the that’s believed to have been King Eduard IV’s.

A similar hatpin worn by a young Henry VII

HT: Mental Floss

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