A COIN collection has gone under the hammer for £2.3m with the latest sale bringing a world record price for one 450 year old Oliver Cromwell gold coin.

The collection, containing more than 520 rare and historic coins, has been sold in four parts over the past three years.

It belonged to collector Marvin Lessen who came to live in Scarborough in 1962 from America.

He spent his career in the aerospace and defence industries, working in various locations in Europe and North America.

In the final sale of the North York Moors Collection of British Coins, specialist auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, based in Mayfair, put an estimate of £150,000 on the prize coin in the collection, a 50 shilling Oliver Cromwell piece dating back to 1656.

Peter Preston-Morley, of Dix Noonan Webb, said the £471,200 price which includes commission, was a record for a Cromwellian coin.

"This is the best collection of Cromwellania to come onto the market in modern times," he said.

"Many of the pieces were either unique or the only one outside an institution.

"It was bought by an American after interest was shown from countries in the Far East, North America and UK.

"We are extremely pleased with the results of the world-record breaking sale."

Mr Lessen is known to have started collecting British coins when he arrived in Scarborough at the age of 28, having been born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1934.

He worked across Europe and North America and had collected coins, stamps, arms and armour from an early age.

Mr Lessen was well known among coin dealers in London and the North East and renowned among collectors in Britain and America, writing many articles for the British Numismatist Journal.

It is understood he still lives in Scarborough but is described as a 'very private person' and it is not known what his reaction was to the £2.3m price tag of his collection.

"We felt that we had kept the best to last and the prices achieved were evidence of this," added Peter.

"Marvin Lessen’s favourite period of numismatic study centred on the mid-17th century, the coins, medals and seals of Oliver Cromwell and the early years of Charles II. The prices in the sale reflected the importance of these coins."

Oliver Cromwell helped defeat Charles I during the Civil War, which resulted in the monarch being tried and beheaded.