John Stoner, 42, was scouring a field in the Notts’ village of Kings Clipstone with Worksop metal detector group Coil to the Soil when he picked up two signals on his metal detector.
The first signal came from a stray piece of metal.
But the second signal revealed a hand-hammered coin buried about five inches deep in the earth.
John, a self employed IT consultant and father-of-two, said: “When I initially found the coin, I wasn’t that thrilled- I didn’t really think it was anything special.”
“But later, when I put a picture of the coin on our group’s Facebook hoping somebody could identify it, people were saying that I had hit the jackpot.”
John had chanced upon an incredibly rare 17th Century threepenny bit from New England, bearing the date 1652.
Coin collectors from around the globe have taken an interest in the coin, which is currently on its way to the US to be professionally cleaned before being auctioned.
John added: “UK coin experts say the coin is worth around £30,000-£60,000, but American experts estimate the value to be much higher, around £1m, because it’s in such fantastic condition.”
“Because the find is a single coin, it is classed as a non-treasure item.”
“This means I can keep the proceeds, which I have decided to split with the farmer who owns the land on which the coin was discovered.”
“I was always hopeful that I would dig up something special - but I never thought I would come across anything like this.”
“God knows how it ended up in a Notts field, all the way over from America- it’s a bit of a mystery.”
Ian North, also from Worksop, runs the treasure hunting group Coil to the Soil. He made a valuable discovery of his own when he dug up a pair of 17th Century cufflinks in a Doncaster field in June.
Ian said: “The find is great news for us as a group, as farmers tend to be quite mistrusting of metal detectorists when they dig on their agricultural land.”
“Hopefully now they’ll be able to see that we can be trusted and are willing to share our earnings with them as part of our club policy.”
“ Either way, it’s an amazing find that we can be proud of,” he added.