Birdwatcher stumbles across $1 million in ancient Celtic gold coins because why not?
· Dec 26, 2020 ·

Have you ever stumbled across what you thought might be a coin of some kind only to find it was just an old washer?

This was the opposite of that.

"That evening I was doing a bit of bird-watching," he said. "After watching a dogfight between a buzzard and a pair of magpies, I stared down and spotted something lying in a bit of the deep ploughed soil which ran around the edge of the field."

He nearly passed it, thinking the metal chip was an old washer. Then he "rubbed it and felt its thickness."

He then found a second one and decided to go get his metal detector because of course he had a metal detector.

After about 18 inches of digging, he unearthed a copper bangle — likely the handle of a pitcher of gold coins. "Gently," he lifted the vessel and out came a "cascade" of gold — "a vision which will remain with me for the rest of my life," he recalled.

Reading that is a vision that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

The find totaled 1300 Celtic gold coins, each worth about $880 apiece, shattering the previous record of 850 coins found back in 2008.

I have a metal detector, and let's just say that if I were to come across a hoard of 1300 stainless steel washers each worth about $0.10 apiece, that would shatter all my previous records including a five-nail plastic ring shank of framing nails I once found in my backyard and the "great bottle-cap run of 2002" I had at the beach.

In fairness, I was not birdwatching.

There are protocols to be followed and to this birder's enduring credit, he followed them, meaning he will likely be sharing the haul in some as-yet-undetermined manner.

He then notified the local coroner's office, which oversees protocol in accordance with the UK's Treasure Act of 1996, including the decision of who gets to keep the coinage: the finder, the landowner or a local museum.

Leaving aside the monetary element, the find has deep historical value.

The coins are believed to date back to 40-50 AD when Queen Boudica led the Celtics in a revolt against Roman rule.

How cool is that?

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