Two friends took their metal detectors out to a field near Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, to search for another friend’s lost wedding ring but instead discovered a treasure of gold coins. One of the men, 44-year-old Paul Raynard, “broke down in tears” when he unearthed 84 gold coins that date all the way back to the 1500s.
Paul’s friend, 52-year-old Michael Gwynne, didn’t have as much luck, as he only found a horseshoe and a 5p coin. After about 90 minutes of searching the field, Paul yelled out to his friend “there’s millions – this is the moment we dreamed of!” Although the discovery isn’t worth millions, it is estimated to be worth at least £100,000 (just under $128,000 in U.S. funds).
In fact, one of them is a very rare Henry VIII coin (the oldest coin that Paul found from the year 1512) and is worth approximately £5,000 (almost $6,400 in U.S. funds). Another coin was from the year 1546 during the time that King Edward VI reigned and could be worth as much as £3,000 (just over $3,800 in U.S. money). Many of the other coins could be worth hundreds of dollars each.
Paul and Michael have been interested in metal detecting for many years and often study old maps in order to find locations of ancient settlements or battlegrounds where potential “treasures” could be found. This time, however, they were in the North Ireland field helping to locate their friend’s lost wedding ring but instead found a large collection of gold coins.
“We didn’t find the ring and had only been there a couple of hours when we found the coins,” Paul said, adding, “I’ve since found out it’s the biggest ever hoard to be found in Ireland.” The coins were sent to Ulster Museum where experts will officially identify the coins and reveal their exact value. If they decide to sell the coins, the money will be split between Paul and the landowner.
Although the ring wasn’t found, discovering a treasure of ancient gold coins worth more than $100,000 is not bad for a day’s work. Several pictures of the coins as well as a video of the discovery can be seen here.