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Two amateur metal detectors discover treasure trove of Iron Age coins worth millions

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (

Reg Mead and Richard Miles, two amateur metal detectors once heard about a treasure trove of ancient coins found on some nearby farmland in Jersey, U.K. Most dismissed the story as mere rumor, but not for these intrepid two. Their hard work has paid off, as three-quarters of a ton of rare, ancient Celtic coins have since been uncovered. Scientists have declared the largest such discovery of its kind.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two friends struck pay dirt the Iron Age coins worth 10 million pounds U.K. The payday was a long time in coming, as the two men had been searching for the treasure for 30 years.  Each one of the 30,000-50,000 coins is estimated to be worth around 200 pounds each.

They coins are believed to be from the first century BC. The coins were found buried a mere three feet deep under a hedge in a farmer's field.
Two thousand years ago the Channel Island - which remains a popular spot to stash large sums of money, even in the modern day -  was a refuge for tribes fleeing what is now northern France from the invading Roman armies.

The treasure is thought to have been buried by a Celtic tribe called the Coriosolitae, as the legions of Julius Caesar drew closer. The tribesmen hoped to later dig it up once the danger had passed.

Mead, 70 years old and Miles, a customs officer in his 40s, suspected treasure was in the area 30 years ago, when they heard rumors a farmer had found some silver pieces on his land. After a series of largely unsuccessful forays in the area, they unearthed a stash of 120 coins in February.

"Richard found the first one and it was amazing - when you see him raising his hand above his head (saying) 'got one.'" Mead says.

The two men used a powerful metal detector known as a deepseeker to search for more treasure in the field.

"The machine picked up a really strong signal - so we immediately got in touch with professional archaeologists," Mead said. "They started digging and we could not believe how many coins there were.

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

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.


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