Detectorists’ discoveries: around the world in four coins

As we explored in our ‘Cash in the attic’ blog, some people are living within a treasure trove of potential coin discoveries. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us aren’t living in a building lined with heritage sovereigns and paved in swathes of gold (coins).

Many of our clients instead satisfy their discovery quota through exclusive customer-only offers of world first launches, such as the first sovereign to contain authentic gold from King George III’s epoch-making era, 200 years ago…

Most people’s entry into the world of numismatics isn’t black and white (or 22-carat gold), as few things are in life. We’ve found that some of our customers are inspired by incredible discoveries from metal detectorists around the world.

Award-winning Iron Age haul

In February, Guinness World Records recognised an astonishing eight years of meticulous counting of 69,347 gold and silver Iron Age coins, worth an incredible £10million.

Unearthed eight years ago in Jersey, some of the ancient coins are now on display at La Hougue Bie Museum. The findings officially belong to the Queen, as their huge value means they are “treasure”, but friends Reg Mead and Richard Miles are entitled to a considerable reward. The time it took them was certainly worth its weight in gold!

Penny for this girl’s thoughts!

An Edinburgh detectorist turned into a detective earlier this year after discovering a lost purse brimming with mid-century coinage, including halfpennies and a sixpence. He appealed to the public to help reunite the 55-year-old purse with its rightful owner, presumed to be a girl guide.

Over the course of many decades of scouring the ground, Alastair Milne has recovered five wedding rings and an Edward I silver penny dated 1297, uncovered close to Airth Castle, Stirlingshire.

Romania’s wide-ranging riches

At the start of the year, amateur detectorists uncovered nearly a thousand ancient coins from the 16th and 17th centuries in Săbieşti, southern Romania.

They mark the area’s international heritage, as the coins are of wide-ranging origins: from Spain, Poland and the Ottoman Empire, as well as native Romania

And just last month, a group of seven coin-hunters have uncovered more than 2,500 medieval coins in the east of the country. Found inside a vase, they have since been handed over to Buzău County Museum.

How much in that ancient ‘piggy bank’ in Israel?

At the end of 2019, Israeli archaeologists unearthed gold coins in what is believed to be an historic ‘piggy bank’: the personal savings of a kiln worker in the 13th century.

Discovered in central Israel during an excavation, this was no ordinary local detectorist work, but goes to show some of the mesmerising secrets contained within the earth.

It goes without saying, if you’re a fan of scouring the ground for hidden riches, make sure you’re only doing this on public land – or consider easier options of accessing authentic gold coins, such as through dealers. English Heritage has just spoken out against illegal detectorist behaviour in some of Britain’s historic sites, such as the location of the Battle of Hastings.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our selection of world first sovereigns and heritage coins, please get in touch.

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