Skip to comments.Two men using metal detectors discover hoard of 50,000 Iron Age Celtic coins
Posted on 07/03/2012 3:04:55 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
those metal detecTwo men using metal detectors discover hoard of 50,000 Iron Age Celtic coins
Great news for all you hopeful amateur metal detectorists: Two men, who'd been searching the same field for nearly 30 years, have stumbled upon the largest hoard of Iron Age coins ever discovered in northern Europe. Inspired by legends that a local farmer once discovered silver coins on his land, the men unearthed the congealed chunk of 50,000 silver and gold coins after following a trail of pieces that turned out not to be related to the cache.
Reg Mead and Richard Miles found the clump inside a massive block of soil in a field in Jersey, U.K., and it's thought that the coins were from Armorica, modern Brittany, and Normandy. The coins, which are in surprisingly good condition, are thought to have been buried at a time when Caesar was campaigning through Gaul. The owner likely buried the coins in an effort to hide them never to be seen again, until now.
Writing in The Guardian, Maev Kennedy had this to add:
Most of the Jersey coins are still locked inside the soil block, which weighs three quarters of a ton and has been removed in one piece from the ground and taken to a safe place.
Excavation continues in the field to make sure the whole story has been revealed. The exact location has not been disclosed, and the island's environment minister, Rob Duhamel, said it would get official protection to keep it safe from looters. "It is a very exciting piece of news and perhaps harks back to our cultural heritage in terms of finance. It was found under a hedge so perhaps this is an early example of hedge fund trading."
De Jersey said the find was exceptional, "certainly the largest hoard of Iron Age coins ever found, not just in Jersey but the whole of the Celtic coin-using world it is difficult to come out with a figure much below 50,000 coins given the volume of the block."
He believes there may also be Iron Age jewellery in the soil block, as in other Jersey hoards.
The coins, which are estimated to be worth about £10m ($15.8m), may go on display in the island's main museum should the land owners get their way. But exactly who owns the coins will likely take months to determine. Hmmm, so much for finder's keepers.
More coverage ...
“Iron Age coins discovered in Jersey after 30-year search”
“Iron Age coins worth £1m found by Jersey treasure hunters”
I think that the government has “first dibs” on antiquities but must pay a fair market value for them. This seems to be subject to abuse but I haven’t read of complaints.
Never understood why the money “horders” of those ages didn’t just deposit their money into an insured Savings & Loan account...
It’s because a great deal of the value of these sorts of finds comes from their provenance, not from their melt.
The Government essentially provides the provenance for free by bringing in experts to validate the coins.
So it works out well for the finder and the land owner, who typically split the proceeds.
LOL, nice one.
Pretty cool looking coins.
FYI: Iron Age coins ping.
Fun hobby,my best find was only a Buffalo Nickle,but ya never know,”Today’s The Day”:)
So, that’s where I left them.
I'm in the process of contacting the Smithsonian.
Paid off for the government. Most of Europe's old relics now get thrown in a ditch or hedgerow when they are uncovered, because the government will confiscate them and then take your land in holding until archaeologists get around to looking at it (10-20 years).
“The coins, which are estimated to be worth about £10m ($15.8m), may go on display in the island’s main museum should the land owners get their way. But exactly who owns the coins will likely take months to determine. Hmmm, so much for finder’s keepers.”
Let’s revisit this find in say, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, and see just how much, if Any, of this $15.8 Million find the discoverers actually got out of it.
Remember the UK’s even more socialist than we are.
I love treasure hunting. Here are the complaints leveled at the “hobbyist” in that part of the world, They are technically only allowed to get “targets” from disturbed soil and not allowed to dig into undisturbed soil. This raises many stories, speculations, and accusations.
So take this scenario. I get a signal and dig down 18” (which I think is a logical plow depth) but I do not locate the target. At this point I notice undisturbed soil, what do I do? The machine is giving me a sweet high silver signal. Well crap, I am so excited that I continue and thereby ruin some information that can be gleaned from the area. They are technically supposed to call the museum to continue into the undisturbed soil. I imagine that if you do that they are not super responsive. I imagine it may take several days just to go back and find out that you have a cache of horseshoes that were fooling your machine.
This is all happening on private property by the way. They have been operating under this treasure trove law since sometime in the 90’s I believe. There are vacation tours you can go on that take people to these fields.
I metal detect, and I live in NEW JERSEY..the ass-in-9 laws state the 100 year rule...
SO, If I find a 1911 penny I must pause and call the archy’s to investigate since it is over 100 yrs old..(Yeah right LOL)
Proof that farmers are throwing stone statuettes into the hedgerows and smelting the silver and gold they find?
Look in the hedgerows, that is where the professionals look.
But that’s just a well known fact in the world’s history departments, the farmers don’t keep records. Can’t imagine why not.
The government does not operate like that over there. They do not shut down a farm for this sort of thing. They will shut down construction sites and yes there have been funny stories where the archies scrape a site and deposit that in a land fill. The hobbyist finds out where that land fill is and make fantastic discoveries that humiliate the professionals.
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