Birdwatcher spies Britain’s largest Celtic gold coin hoard

A birdwatcher in eastern England has discovered the largest hoard of Celtic gold coins ever found in Britain. The birder has been observing a glorious instance of aerial combat between a large brown buzzard and two magpies through his binoculars. When they moved out view, he glanced down and saw something in the groove of recently-ploughed soil. He picked up the circular piece, figuring it was an old metal washer, but when he wiped off the mud, he saw the glint of gold. What glittered in this case was in fact gold, a Celtic full stater from the middle of the 1st century.

After he spotted a second one a couple of feet away, the birdwatcher switched to another of his avid hobbies, running home to fetch his metal detector. He scanned the area where he had found the two coins and quickly found another two gold coins. Then he got a particularly a strong signal and began to dig down. Just 18 inches under the surface, he unearthed another circular object. It looked like a copper bracelet, but when he pulled it up a shower of gold fell on him like he was Danae. The circle was actually the rim of Roman vase or jug that had been filled with coins and buried.

Alas, the finder did not stop what he was doing to alert archaeologists. He filled two large shopping bags with what are estimated to be around 1,300 gold coins and walked home with them. He then called in the find to the coroner’s office. The coins are now being assessed before the inquest that will declare them treasure under the terms of the 1996 Treasure Act. As far as monetary value goes, each coin could be worth up to $880 dollars, depending on condition.

This is a new record for a Celtic gold coin hoard. The previous record-holder was a hoard of 850 coins discovered at Wickham Market, Suffolk, in 2008.

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9 Comments »

Comment by Yahbut Yahbut
2021-01-03 00:25:53

“Honest, authorities, this is all of them right here in these two bags…honest”

 
Comment by P. Aulus
2021-01-03 01:24:11

“Rainbow cups” were often found in recently ploughed soil after heavy rainfall, leading to the folk belief that they could be found where a rainbow touched the earth. They were thought to bring luck and had many different effects ascribed to them.

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153.—THE STAR-MONEY –There was once on a time a little girl whose father and mother were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had any little room to live in, or bed to sleep in, and at last she had nothing else but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand which some charitable soul had given her. […] At length she got into a forest and it had already become dark, and there came yet another child, and asked for a little shirt, and the good little girl thought to herself, “It is a dark night and no one sees thee, thou canst very well give thy little shirt away,” and took it off, and gave away that also. And as she so stood, and had not one single thing left, suddenly some stars from heaven fell down, and they were nothing else but hard smooth pieces of money, and although she had just given her little shirt away, she had a new one which was of the very finest linen. Then she gathered together the money into this, and was rich all the days of her life.

 
Comment by Mechtraveller
2021-01-03 02:53:44

WHEN did this happen? Last week? Last month? A year ago?

 
Comment by Tom F
2021-01-03 07:57:08

I presume he did not tell the landowner who would have at least shared in the reward for finding such a hoard!

 
 
Comment by JoanP
2021-01-03 09:49:31

@Mechtraveller –

According to this article, it was in September.

 
Comment by mike
2021-01-03 20:11:46

Boudica’s war chest?

 
Comment by Maud Karlsdottir
2021-01-04 11:35:07

“When he pulled it up a shower of gold fell on him like he was Danae.” I :love: LD.

 
Comment by Neil
2021-01-12 23:34:33

This is the plot of the Brit series Detectorists come to life!

 
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