Amateur Treasure Hunter Finds Hoard of Roman Coins

And the haul could be worth $160,000
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2012 2:14 PM CDT
Updated Oct 21, 2012 7:36 AM CDT
The coins will go on display at the Verulamium Museum, St Albans, England.   (AP Photo/St Albans City and District Council)

(Newser) – An amateur treasure hunter in Britain recently struck gold—literally—while using a relatively cheap metal detector. He found 40 Roman gold coins dating back to at least 408AD buried in the woods, reports the Daily Mail. He returned to the shop where he bought the detector, coins in hand, and asked, "What do I do with this?" The shopkeepers knew what to do—they got a permit and a stronger device, and returned to the site, where they turned up 119 more pieces. The lot might be worth $160,000.

Experts from the British Museum think it could be the second-largest hoard of Roman Solidi ever found in the UK. The coins are 22 carats, and were likely paid out to Roman nobles, merchants, or soldiers. Archeologists believe they were disturbed in the past 100 years, perhaps by bombing in WWII or recent quarry digging, making them easier to detect. The find was made on private land, notes ABC News, and it's not clear how much the lucky treasure hunters will get. (Read more gold coins stories.)

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