British Birdwatcher Uncovers $1 Million Treasure Trove of Ancient Celtic Coins
A British birdwatcher uncovered a treasure trove of ancient Celtic coins earlier this year, revealing his incredible find in a Christmas interview with Treasure Hunting magazine.
“That evening I was doing a bit of bird-watching,” said the lucky man, who is in his 50’s. “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.”
The birdwatcher knew his discovery was of great historical value almost immediately. He’s chosen to remain anonymous.
“I saw the glint of gold and realized it was a beautiful Celtic gold stater, which made me sit down in sheer shock,” said the man. “I then spotted the second coin two feet away and rushed home to get my [metal detector].”
The sleuth describes digging eighteen inches deep before finding an ancient pitcher. Upon pouring the vessel, a stream of golden coins flowed from its mouth, in a sight the finder calls “a vision which will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
The unwitting treasure hunter notified a customs official of his find, in accordance with British law governing the discovery of historical antiquities. Appraisers are estimating that the value of the hoard is in the range of one million dollars, or £845,000. The 1,300 gold coins found in the discovery may break the previous record for Celtic coins found in one hoard.
The lucky finder has opted to remain anonymous. Analysis of the treasure suggests the coins were minted around the time that the Roman Empire incorporated Britain as a province, during which many of the Celtic tribes fought against the Roman outsiders, including Julius Caesar himself.
Celtic peoples primarily inhabited the British Islands for thousands of years, from the island’s prehistory through the era in which Britain was a Roman province. Celtic influence is still primarily reflected in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland, with the rich cultural legacy of the Celts persisting in England as well.