A rare coin passed down as a toy from generation to generation has smashed an auction house’s record sale.

The five guinea gold coin, a Queen Anne Vigo, sold for £280,000 with commission at Boningtons’ auctioneers in Epping on Wednesday (November 16).

The item, one of only 20 made from 7.5lbs of gold seized from Spanish treasure ships by the British navy in October 1702, broke the previous record sale set in July for a painting by Sir Winston Churchill, which went for £203,000.

Boningtons’ coin expert Greg Tong said: “We are an independent company and we are going from strength to strength.

“It is pretty good, and from this we have had some serious pieces coming in.

“We would obviously hope for a million pound listing… watch this space, we are in talks for some amazing things.”

The rare coin, from the gold seized in Vigo Bay in Spain, was consigned by an anonymous man from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, who was given it when he was a child.

He had no idea of its value until he showed it to Mr Tong, who instantly recognised it as one of 15 highly sought-after remaining Vigos.

Mr Tong said: “For someone to walk out of the blue with a quarter of a million pounds worth, it just doesn’t happen.

“That is the magic of something like that.

“He is in such shock still.”

He added: “He was very, very happy with it.

“He didn’t believe it, he thought it was a dream.”

The Bishop’s Stortford man is believed to now be planning a trip to Disneyland in America with his son and wife.

Speaking previously, he said: “My grandad had travelled all over the world during his working life and had collected many coins from the various countries he had been.

“He gave me bags of coins to play with – I was into pirate treasure – throughout my early years… as time passed these coins went back into bags and boxes and were forgotten about until I rediscovered them after my grandad passed away.

“I looked back through the coins, remembering the stories I made up about them when I was small, and then gave them to my own son to play with and put into his own treasure box.

“My little boy has been playing with this coin as I did all those years ago.”