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V15 2012 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 28, July 1, 2012, Article 27

MASSIVE COIN HOARD UNEARTHED IN JERSEY

Not NEW jersey - the old one. Stephen Pradier forwarded this great article from the Daily Mail, adding "Wow another big coin find!!!". It's a whopper all right! See the full articles for some more great pictures and a video of this massive haul on the island of Jersey. Adrián González Salinas, Arthur Shippee and others also forwarded links to articles on the find. -Editor

Jersey coin hoard3 After hunting for buried treasure for three decades - and not finding a great deal - even the most diligent of us might have given up.

But not Reg Mead and Richard Miles. The two amateur metal detectors kept up their search of the same area throughout the decades and have finally struck gold - or rather silver.

They have unearthed the largest hoard of Celtic coins ever found. Each one of the 30,000-50,000 coins is estimated to be worth around £200 each, putting the value of the haul at up to £10milion.

They are thought to be from the first century BC and were found buried 3ft deep under a hedge in a farmer's field on Jersey.

Two thousand years ago the Channel Island - which remains a popular spot to stash large sums of money - was a refuge for tribes fleeing what is now northern France from the invading Roman armies.

As the legions of Julius Ceasar drew closer, the treasure is thought to have been buried by a Celtic tribe called the Coriosolitae, in the hope it could be dug up once the danger had passed.

And there the coins - packed in clay and weighing a ton - have remained undisturbed until last week.

Jersey coin hoard2 Jersey coin hoard1

'All of them were stuck together. I have been searching for things like this since 1959 and never found anything on this scale before.

'We had been searching that land for 30 years.'

After four days of careful digging the hoard was hauled to the surface by crane. It will now be subject of an inquest to determine ownership rights.

'All the coins are silver and a common theme is a picture of a man or god's head on one side of the coin and a horse on the other,' he said. ‘They are covered in green corrosion because the silver is mixed with copper and copper corrodes. But they should come up again in a good condition.'

Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert at Oxford University, said: 'The find is very significant. It will add a huge amount of new information, not just about the coins themselves, but the people who were using them.'

To read the complete article, see: Pair of metal detector friends discover three quarters of a TON of Iron Age coins worth £10m buried in a field in Jersey after searching for 30 years (www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2164897/Iron-Age-coins
-worth-10m-discovered-Jersey-metal-detector-friends.html)

Philip Mernick kindly contacted Dr Philip de Jersey at Oxford University, and he provided some numismatic background on the find for The E-Sylum. Thanks! -Editor

Dr Philip de Jersey writes:

We only have a fairly sketchy idea of the contents at present since most of it is still in the soil block, but what we can see looks like predominantly staters and quarter staters of the Coriosolitae, of the 50s BC, with a few other Armorican types also likely to be present. There are also other objects; a piece of crumpled gold and a silver ring are visible in the small section which has been cleaned so far.

It certainly doesn't contain third century denarii (which appear in one online report, the Daily Mail I think) or Greek coins (can't remember where that one appears!). The following two links are reasonably accurate:

www.jerseyheritage.org/news/record-hoard-of-celtic-coins-found-in-jersey

www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jun/26/iron-age-coins-discovered-jersey

Philip Mernick and Colin Gullberg also forwarded the article from The Guardian" Iron Age coins discovered in Jersey after 30-year search (www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jun/26/iron-age-coins-discovered-jersey)

Dick Hanscom forwarded this article from the BBC news: Roman and Celtic coin hoard worth up to £10m found in Jersey (www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-18579868)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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