Adam Staples and partner Lisa Grace were scanning around an unploughed field in a farm around north east Somerset area. The 42-year-old couple were only each equipped with metal detectors when they unearthed possibly British most valuable treasure ever which dates back from 1060s or 1070s.
They found 2,571 ancient coins from King Harold II pennies from the end of Anglo-Saxon England and William the Conqueror coins. Most coins are in mint condition as it seems to have been a stash of a rich, important person from the time period.
Those in mint condition can be valued anywhere between £1,000 and £5,000 each. This whole stash of value can be worth anywhere between £1 to £5 millions.
The couple found the stash back in January and has reported the finding to a local county’s liaison officer as required by law. The coins are now being evaluated by British Museum in London and should have their assessment results out later this week.
If it’s declared treasure, the museum will compensate the couple as well as the land owner according to the monetary value of the coins. If that’s the case, the couple will turn into millionaires.
If it’s not worth enough, the coins will be returned to the finder for them which they can sell for their own profit. Both look and sounds good for the couple and they have been cleverly tight-lipped about their findings.
Coin expert Nigel Mills says, “Each coin will have the moneyers name on and the mint of where it was issued. In the case of the Harold II coins, some will be from moneyers that we have not seen before.
“Harold II coins are rarer than William coins and could be worth between £2,000 to £4,000 each. The William I coins will be between £1,000 and £1,500. This hoard could be worth between £3m and £5m.”
He continued, “They would have been buried within two or three years after 1066 and probably before 1072. The Romans buried their coins for the Gods but in this case they were probably hidden and the owner died before they could go back for them.
“It would have been a substantial amount of money back not. Not a king, but somebody high up and important, somebody of substance. They didn’t have banks back then so where else were they going to store their money safely?”
The British Museum also comments, “We can confirm that a large hoard of late Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins was discovered in January and has been handed in to the British Museum as possible Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996). This appears to be an important discovery.”
The most valuable hoard in British so far is ‘Stafford hoard’ found in 2009 which contains Saxon gold artifacts that is worth more than £3m. They were believed to have came from Sri Lankan during Byzantine Empire and dates back to Beowulf’s time.