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The golden bean was one of 100 hidden in random tins in 1995 as a marketing gimmick called the Golden Beananza to mark the brand’s centenary.

The bean was sold with a presentation box and letter referring to the No. 57 Heinz varieties limited edition bean that had been posted to the vendor by Heinz following the win.

Bean

The golden bean and an accompanying letter from Heinz.

The bean, stamped Heinz, is number 90 of 100 and had been estimated at £450-650 at McTear’s auction (24% buyer's premium) on March 15.

Heinz, via a telephone bid, bought the bean as it had not kept an example of the bean in 1995.

Heinz marketing manager Fabio Megid Pinto said it is Heinz's 150-year anniversary and this “wonderful piece of Heinz Beanz memorabilia will take pride of place in our Beanzy archive collection”.

Hannah Murphy, a valuer from McTear’s, said: “The Golden Beananza was a major promotional event for Heinz in the 1990s but I don’t think they quite realised how collectable their little golden beans would become. The bean attracted a lot of interest and we are delighted it will now be heading back to Heinz for their archive.

“The Scottish seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, was delighted when she heard how much the bean had sold for.  I think it’s fair to say she won’t have to worry about a topping for her toast for quite a few years to come.”