An amateur metal detectorist who was searching through a ploughed field in Kent, England, discovered an ancient gold coin that dates back nearly 2,000 years. The 24 carat gold coin was perfectly preserved with the face of Emperor Allectus who was known as the first Brexiteer when he distanced Britain from the Roman Empire during his reign.
From 293 to 296 A.D., Allectus ruled in Britain and northern Gaul. He was best known for trying to lead a rebel empire and was called the “Brexiteer of his day”. He ended up being assassinated during battle in 296 A.D.
The coin, which is called an aureus, will be auctioned off on June 12th at London auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb and will most likely sell for £100,000 (a little more than $130,000 in American money). Whatever they end up getting for the coin, the metal detectorist who discovered it is entitled to half the proceeds with the other half going to the landowner. While the finder has no plans yet for what he’s going to do with the money, the landowners said they would be going on holidays.
Interestingly enough, according to the Treasure Act, single coins aren’t considered treasure. However, there are plans to change the legislation so that single gold coins will be considered as treasure.
The 30-year-old finder of the coin – whose name remains anonymous – found it close to an ancient Roman road in Dover, Kent, but at first he thought it was fake due to its appearance. He soon realized that it was authentic when he calculated its weight being 4.31 grams. Another coin that matches this one is located in the British Museum. It’s approximately the same size as a penny.
Needless to say, he was very surprised and excited about his discovery, as he’s never found anything like that before. “The field doesn’t really have any history of Roman coinage. I’ve searched it before without finding anything but made the discovery about 45 minutes into this search,” he explained.
One side of the coin has the face of a noble-looking Allectus while the opposite side shows two captives who are kneeling at the feet of Apollo.
“This is an amazing find and is one of the finest condition coins out there,” stated Nigel Mills, who is a coin consultant from Dix Noonan Webb. He continued by saying, “I’ve never seen one like it in my 40 years of work so it really is a remarkable discovery. The rarity is there, the condition is there and it’s made of 24 carat gold all of which make it a fantastic coin.”