Skip to comments.Metal detecting pensioner finds Wales' oldest coin
Posted on 02/20/2008 3:46:01 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
A METAL detecting enthusiast has unearthed a Roman coin thought to be one of the oldest ever found in Wales. Retired butcher Roy Page, 69, of Coedpoeth, found the detailed 2,000-year-old coin on a farm near St Asaph when he went on a search there with the Mold-based Historical Search Society.
Roy handed the tiny silver coin to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who identified it as dating from the second century BC.
It is believed to have been brought over some time after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, or during earlier visits in the first century BC.
Roy, who has been metal detecting for five years, said: "The person who held the coin was probably a Roman.
"When he told me I nearly fainted, I was over the moon. I was told by an expert in our group that it could be the oldest coin found in Wales.
"It shows how far the Romans came into this country.
"It is living history. I suppose the way I feel is how you would feel if you won the pools.
"When you look at a map of where old coins have been found in Wales there have not been many found around St Asaph."
The coin depicts two horses being driven by a man on a chariot.
Roy routinely puts in 10 hours of metal detecting a week using his computerised Minelab X Terra metal detector, which can differentiate between metals.
Roy was making his way to his car for a drink when the familiar high pitched bleep started up, signifying a coin.
Roy said: "I flipped the soil back and it was there, only six inches down.
"I was thirsty and so I popped it in my pocket with my other finds." Roy says he is not interested in the value of the coin, taking pleasure from simply having found it.
He said: "That is the first thing people ask me, how much it is worth.
"I haven't even bothered to find out."
I was wondering the same thing.......
Mold-based Historical Search Society
Their membership might be elderly but really.
"The person who held the coin was probably a Roman.
Cool. Either the coin was fairly old when it came to Britain, or it came to Britain from Rome through several hands. It could have gotten there not long after it was minted if it passed up through Gaul and into Britain in a series of exchanges.
Silver is silver, and an unfamiliar coin would have been weighed to decide what it was worth.
I recall a show about a farmer over there finding a mess of old Roman coins in a field he was tilling....all had to be turned over to the gov.
They did say that the 'finder's' are always fairly compensated, though.
Silver?? When Rome had real money, before they made all them worthless coated slugs of bronz.
“The Treasure Act of 1996 is an Act of Parliament designed to deal with finds of treasure in the United Kingdom. It legally obliges finders of objects which constitute a legally defined term of treasure to report their find to their local coroner within fourteen days. An inquest led by the coroner then determines whether the find constitutes treasure or not. If it is declared to be treasure then the owner must offer the item for sale to a museum at a price set by an independent board of antiquities experts. Only if a museum expresses no interest in the item, or is unable to purchase it, the owner can retain it.
‘Treasure’ is defined as being:
* All coins from the same hoard. A hoard is defined as two or more coins, as long as they are at least 300 years old when found. If they contain less than 10% gold or silver there must be at least 10 in the hoard for it to qualify.
* Two or more prehistoric base metal objects in association with one another
* Any individual (non-coin) find that is at least 300 years old and contains at least 10% gold or silver.
* Associated finds: any object of any material found in the same place as (or which had previously been together with) another object which is deemed treasure.
* Objects substantially made from gold or silver but are less than 300 years old, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown.
“Under English law a landowner has sole title to any archaeological artifacts found on his or her property. Legitimate metal detectorists come to an agreement with the owners of the land they detect on to share any proceeds from treasure sales.
“Successful cases involving the Treasure Act include that of the Ringlemere gold cup. Non treasure finds are the remit of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
So since this is only one coin, it would not be a ‘treasure’ within the definition of the act. So it might belong to the landowner if the treasure hunter had not reached a binding agreement with him before beginning the hunt.
The wear and tear on the coin leaves the image up to one’s own interpretation. (like looking up at puffy clouds and making out shapes for whimsy sake.)
Is it just me, or does anybody else make out the form of a Dog- headed human in a full sprint on a treadmill?
It has the makings of a Rorschach test.
Roy Page with the ancient coin he found metal detecting
That’s what I want to do when I get old, decrepit and useless - hunt for treasure. And conceal my finds from the thieving, fascist government.
John Adams - founding father and smuggler - an American hero.
One day, at the appropriate post, I’ll tell my story about the federal fascist bureaucrats who steal our national treasures.
So, I wonder how long old Roy is going to wait before he reports the next coin in the hoard to the coroner. I’d wait at least two or three months and make sure I “found” it in another county.
Thanks Blam. Under Claudius, Vespasian (as a general, before he became emperor) really rolled across southwest. We really need an ancient coin collector to check this out, it appears to be Republican era?
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Oh, duh, it was in the article, wasn’t it? [blush]
some silver coins of the Roman Republic (see #1 for match?):
Thanks for the ping... That’s a really cool looking coin.
Since this is Great Britain, he will most likely be handing it over to a thug with a gun, knife, or box cutter at some time in the near future.
:’) Here at GGG we thought it would be good to lend the story some currency. ;’)
Hey, I like that list processing fee idea...
True but, it ought to make cents too.
And here I thought getting a bicentennial quarter with my change back from a cup of coffee the other day was special...
Hey, we should treasure all of these topics, even those which are centsless.
The other side’s got Helen Thomas’ picture on it.
Thanks for the ping!
I got back a 1911 wheat cent in my change sometime in january. I wouldn’t have noticed except I dropped it on the floor and then looked at it more carefully. I guess it is worth a couple bucks. Not much, but it was kind of cool to get a coin nearly a century old.
I agree, it ought to make cents, but I can’t make heads or tails out of it.
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