Amateur Treasure Hunters Discover 14th Century Gold Coins Worth Estimated $200,000

Leon NealGetty Images

A group of amateur treasure hunters made the discovery of their lives when they stumbled upon hundreds of gold coins dating back to the 14th century.

Andrew Winter, 38, Dariusz Fijalkowski, 44, and brothers Tobiasz and Mateusz Nowak, 30 and 33, were digging in a field near the village of Hambleden, U.K., at a festival where enthusiasts gather and dig for buried treasure, The Metro reported.

Winter and the Nowak brothers had reportedly been digging in an area for an hour without finding anything. They had just about given up and moved to another location when their detectors started beeping. Winter said the sound his detector made indicated that they were near a hammered silver coin, so he began digging. The three men found two coins in a chunk of earth. In the hole that they had dug, they could see more coins.

Fijalkowski was nearby digging on his own when he also dug up some coins.

According to festival procedure, any discoveries over three coins must be declared to organizers. The men reported the find, which was appropriately called the “Hambleden Hoard.” They were allowed to work in the area alone, and after four days of digging, they uncovered 557 coins.

The coins were reportedly a “rare mintage mix” from Birmingham, Ireland and Lincoln, and Scotland. Included in the find were 12 “ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death.”

Experts believed the silver coins were from the reign of both Edward I and Edward II, and the gold coins were from Edward III’s reign. Some of the silver coins could possibly date back to 1272.

Experts also said that the rare nobles the men found were worth around $13,000 each. The majority of the coins, however, were said to be worth between $25 and $65 each.

The men said that when word of their discovery made its way around the festival, they had to fight off competition from digging in their area. The men even camped out by the spot, but reportedly did not sleep because they were so excited about what they had found.

“We knew there and then this was going to be one of the ones you never, ever forget,” Winter said of the discovery.

Mateusz Nowak said it felt “unreal.”

“It was a miracle moment after moment for everyone,” he said.

The discovery is reportedly being held at a museum where it will be evaluated before it is sold. Any proceeds made will be split with the property owner.