Puzzled fund-raisers are hoping to reunite a suspected heirloom with its rightful owner after the mysterious coin turned up in their collection tin.
Staff at Bispham’s Premier Inn found what they believe to be a six pence engraved with “Alice 1912” following a collection in Blackpool.
Ian Leadbeater, manager of the hotel, believes a member of the public unwittingly dropped the coin into their collection bucket for Great Ormond Street Hospital, and he is now determined to return it to them.
He said: “It was something which surprised me when I saw it.
“We were counting up the money and the coin was just sat there.
“We get a few foreign coins, but I thought this was an amazing little thing because it looks like something you would give away to someone.
“We want to reunite it with the owner because someone’s been given it and looked after it for more than 100 years.”
Apart from being provided with a name, Mr Leadbeater says he has no idea who the coin, which was dropped into the fund-raising bucket last week, belongs to.
It is roughly the same size as a five pence coin and the reverse is adorned with King George V’s head.
Mr Leadbeater added: “I’ve asked a few people about it and it appears it’s a six pence.
“This is the third bucket shake we’ve done and the first time we’ve seen something as professional as this.
“It’s just really sad that someone has lost it.
“It has got to be someone who has emptied their purse into the bucket and doesn’t realise what they’ve done.”
Ted Lightbawn, a Blackpool historian, says people would often engrave coins and make them into a broach.
He said: “I don’t think this is uncommon.
“Sometimes people used to set coins to broaches and did all sorts to coins.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if this is what the coin is because it was a way of having a necklace if the six pence had some kind of significance to that person.”
The fund-raising drive was part of Premier Inn’s bid to help fund a new clinical building at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London.
If you are the coin’s owner or have any information about it and who it belongs to, call The Gazette’s newsdesk on (01253) 361725.