The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 1, January 4, 2015, Article 28


The coin hoard finds just keep on coming. Philip Mernick, David Pickup, Anne Bentley and Alan Luedeking forwarded this BBC News story about a major find of coin dated to the 11th Century. -Editor

Buckinghamshire Norman hoard coins Metal detector enthusiasts in Buckinghamshire have uncovered what is thought to be one of biggest hoards of ancient coins ever found in Britain.

Paul Coleman from the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club discovered more than 5,000 coins buried inside a lead bucket two feet under a field near Aylesbury.

The hoard contains specimens dating back to the 11th Century - the late Anglo Saxon, early Norman period.

The coins will now be examined by the British Museum.

Mr Coleman, from Southampton, was taking part in a dig in the Padbury area on 21 December when he found the 5,251 coins depicting the heads of kings Ethelred the Unready and Canute.

A spokesman for the national club said those on the dig had "agreed this was the most exciting day of their detecting lives".

Peter Welch, who was at the dig, said Mr Coleman had seen some fragments of lead, picked off the top one and saw the "layers of coins".

"He didn't touch them, he knew it was important," he said.

Buckinghamshire Norman coin hoard bagged Mr Welch, who was immediately notified, said he was "shellshocked" when he realised "it was real".

"There was general silence and a sharp intake of breath of the people watching," he said.

"This is something you dream of witnessing, let along digging up.

"They looked almost uncirculated, like they were straight from a mint."

The old Buckingham mint would have been within a day's walking distance so a possible link with that will be explored, he said.

The coins have been taken to the British Museum and a coroner must now rule if they are "treasure" under the Treasure Act.

A museum could then buy them with the proceeds being split between the landowner and the finder.

To read the complete article, see:
Thousands of ancient coins discovered in Buckinghamshire field (

Dick Hanscom forwarded this longer article from the Daily Mail. It has some additional images and background information on King Ethelred. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Amateur treasure hunter finds £1million hoard of 1,000-year-old Anglo Saxon coins - after a whip-round for petrol to get there (

Philip Mernick adds:

The coins are now at the British Museum and it will probably be Gareth Williams' job to sort them into neat piles by king and mint. Only then will we know if they are locally made (rare) or from a major mint such as London or Winchester (more likely). If that is the case then most of them will probably be declined by the BM and will finish up on the market in a year or so.

5000 + odd coins is roughly the equivalent of 25 pounds of silver so it could have been a tax levy or a danegeld payment that went astray, or possibly a merchant's hoard like the two similar lead containers found in post-conquest Colchester.

It's dangerous to estimate the value of a hoard before the individual coins have been properly evaluated. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the British Museum's evaluation. According to the below story found by Philip Mernick, using a Spink Coins of England catalog as a guide, "... the club believes each silver coin could be worth about £250 – making the horde worth £1m in total."

The article has an image of six of the coins as well as a link to a video of the coins being dug up. "Very unusual and well worth looking at," write Philip. -Editor

Buckinghamshire Norman hoard coins2

To read the complete article, see:
Treasure hunters find Anglo-Saxon silver coins worth £1m in Buckinghamshire (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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