Back in September of last year, a British bird-watcher was observing a buzzard and a couple of magpies at the edge of a farmer’s field when he found a bunch of Celtic gold coins from more than 2,000 years ago. It was one massive discovery as it is estimated to be worth approximately £845,000 ($1.15 million in US dollars).
The man, who has remained anonymous, is also an amateur metal detectorist. According to Treasure Hunting magazine, the 1,300 or so gold coins date back to between 40 and 50 AD. In fact, his discovery is the largest amount of Iron Age Celtic coins that has been found in the United Kingdom since 2008 when 850 staters were unearthed in Suffolk (that discovery was named the Wickham Market Hoard).
In an interview with Treasure Hunting magazine, the bird-watcher described the moment he found the coins, “I saw the glint of gold and realized it was a beautiful Celtic gold stater, which made me sit down in sheer shock.” “I then spotted the second coin two feet away and rushed home to get my [metal detector].”
Once he returned to the location with his metal detector, he received a very strong signal and after digging approximately 18 inches into the ground, he found a copper vessel that contained the coins. “I had to sit down to get my breath back,” he said, adding, “I had only come out for a walk and found a Celtic hoard.”
Once he gathered up the coins, he called the local authorities to report his discovery. If the gold coins are labelled a treasure, they will be brought to a museum and the bird-watcher may get a portion of the reward.
In a statement (which was quoted by the New York Post), Jules Evan-Hart, who is the editor of Treasure Hunting magazine, said, “The coins form a substantial if not enormous contribution to our academic numismatic knowledge and will undoubtedly be subject to much assessment over the coming year,” adding, “It is possible that [the coins] may form a deposit as a ‘war chest’ for Boudica’s eastern campaigns.” The gold coins date back to a time when Celtic queen Boudica conducted a huge uprising against the Romans.