Antiques Roadshow guest left open-mouthed by whopping valuation of extremely rare communion coins

EXPERT John Foster left Antiques Roadshow guest astonished after high evaluation of his rare coins.

In Ayrshire, a male guest presented his communion token collection to expert John in last night’s episode.

John admitted he was a coin collector and that he had “never seen” tokens like it in England.

The guest was left stunned as John revealed the collection was worth up to £9,000.

John said: “So when I first saw these it immediately got my excitement going because I collect coins, I've always been interested in coins.

“I’ve never seen these in England, which is communion tokens, and you're obviously a man of the cloth. Is this from your church?"

The guest replied: “This is from our church, the first lot of communion tokens from 1777, and the box is the later version 1840.

“To have one of these tokens meant that whoever you were, you were allowed into the church, to be able to go to Communion, which in the 18th century was hugely important for the local people.”

When asked how often he used the coins, the guest answered: “Quite rarely, because within the Church of Scotland tradition it was only maybe once or twice a year, that communion took place.

“And sometimes in the Western Isles, even today, people have the tradition of only one time in their life, taking communion.”

John asked: “How long before communion took place would you have been given this?” 

The guest responded: “Probably what would happen would be the month before, the elders in the kirk would go around their districts and give the communion tokens to people in their homes.

“And it becomes a real treasure, you know to get one of those.”

John interjected: “But would it been taken away if you were bad or what was what was going on?”

The guest shared: “People in the kirk session of the church at that time were quite disciplinary.

“So if you played golf on a Sunday, you could be reprimanded or if you played football or things like that. 

“And that was really quite a life or death thing for the people then, if they weren't allowed to share the bread and wine it was a lasting thing on their soul.”

John said: “You've created a whole new collecting area for you so excellent really happy about value-wise, between £7,000 to £9,000.”

The guest was amazed and said: “Whoa, between £7,000 to £9,000? I better look after them well.

“That’s amazing, for me, I'm thinking that the number of people in this area who have held one of those communion tokens and it's been really meaningful for them to be able to go to church and be part of the communion.”

Antiques Roadshow continues on BBC One on Sunday at 8pm.

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