Amateur Treasure Hunter Discovers Ancient Roman-Era Gold Coins
An amateur treasure hunter in Britain armed with a basic metal detector has reportedly discovered a trove of Roman-era gold coins, which experts believe may be one of the largest finds of its kind in England’s history.
The cache of coins are called Roman solidi and date back to the fourth century, according to ABC News. The find is estimated to be worth about $160,000 US dollars.
The man, whose name has not been released, reportedly purchased a beginner’s metal detector from a store in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. A few weeks afterwards, the man returned to she shop and showed the owners, David Sewell and Mark Becher 40 coins, asking, “What do I do with this?”
Sewell and Becher were understandably shocked. They urged the first-time treasure hunter to notify authorities of the discovery. He was able to obtain the required permits, which allowed the hunter, Sewell, Becher, and others to return to the discovery site. The Daily Mail notes that Sewell stated:
“We went with them and took with us a couple of slightly more potent machines and we pulled 119 more coins out of the ground. These are 22 carat gold, they haven’t got any damage and they came out of the ground looking like the day they were made.”
Sewell added, “I’ve found bits and pieces but nothing like this. I’ve got immense satisfaction that the guy came to us and bought the machine from us, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish it had been me.”
The Roman-era solidus coin dates back to the end of the fourth century and was usually buried as a sacrifice to gods when the owner was either going on a journey or in times of war, according to David Thorold, a curator at the St. Albans Verulamium Museum.
The local government reported that the amateur treasure hunter found the coins on private land, and experts at the British Museum will examine the haul to find out what its final value is.