A metal detectorist discovered a gold pendant dated back to the 6th century in a field. Rachel Carter and her partner Ricky Schubert were out looking for treasure on their friend’s farmland in Marshside which is located in Kent, England when they unearthed the pendant.
After taking care of her sick mother before she passed away, Rachel was excited to get back to doing her hobby, “We went once and found nothing,” she said, “Then just after Christmas – nearly 12 months to the day of my mom dying – we went back.” Oddly enough, after she found the gold pendant, she went back a few more times and didn’t find anything else.
Was it a sign from Heaven? Perhaps. “My mom always said to me ‘one day you’ll find something really special.’ All I ever wanted was to find something gold and religious for her, because she was Catholic. And then I did. It’s like she sent this as a sign, saying ‘See? Keep going.’”
Rachel, who was using Ricky’s metal detector, had decided to head towards the far side of the field, but her partner quickly called her back. “But Ricky said ‘hang on, you said you wanted to try this part’ and he encouraged me to come back and have another look,” she said, adding, “As soon as I put the detector down again I got a signal that was going mad, so I dug down and pulled out this pendant.”
She explained that the pendant was only around five inches into the ground and that at first she thought it was a piece of chocolate in a gold wrapper. She then asked her partner what he thought of it and he immediately responded with an “Oh my God.” She went on to say that some of the people in her club have been digging for 50 years and have never come across anything like the pendant she found.
After uncovering the pendant, she reported it to Kent Finds Liaison Officer although she would have rather kept it as she described finding it was like “winning the lottery.” Andrew Richardson, who is the outreach and archives manager at Canterbury Archaeological Trust, described the pendant as a “significant find.” He also said, “My first impression is that it is a gold coin of 6th or early 7th century date – possibly an imported Frankish tremissis – that has been re-fashioned as a pendant.”
He went into further detail by explaining the origins of ancient coins. “We have seen these before in Kent. Imports of quantities of Byzantine and Frankish gold coinage into Kent were not infrequent, probably as gifts. Anglo-Saxon England was not thought a coin using economy, so coins tended to either get melted down to make jewelry, or occasionally got refashioned as pendants, as is the case here. During the early 7th century, the Kentish kings began to mint their own gold coins, known as thrymsas and from then on a coin using economy developed.”