UK

Couple find £5,000,000 in one of biggest ever treasure hoards

Couple find £5,000,000 treasure hoard while metal detecting
These coins could be worth up to £5,000,000 after being dug up in a field in north east Somerset (Picture: BNPS)

If you are in a relationship you might want to have a think about the hobbies you share.

One couple, Adam Staples and Lisa Grace, 42, made a once in a lifetime discovery while out metal detecting together.

They discovered 2,571 silver coins that date back 1,000 years and the treasure hoard is worth around £5 million.

The coins are from the time of King Harold II, aka Harold Godwinson, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England and who died in the Battle of Hastings by an arrow through the eye.

He was only king for seven months so coins from the period of his reign are incredibly rare.

The hoard is also thought to contain coins struck by previously-unknown moneyers.

Couple find £5,000,000 treasure hoard while metal detecting
Adam Staples was one of those behind the huge find

Many of the coins are in mint condition and could be valued anywhere between £1,000 and £5,000 each.

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It is a smaller find than the Staffordshire Hoard, but it is significantly more valuable.

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Experts say the coins would have been a substantial amount of money at the time and belonged to an important, wealthy person who probably buried them for safekeeping.

Adam and Lisa found the coins while searching an unploughed field in north east Somerset in January.

The couple have handed over their find to the British Museum and any proceeds they earn from them will be split with the land owner.

Over the last seven months the museum has been cataloguing and assessing the coins which will be unveiled to the public later this week.

BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: BNPS Lisa Grace. A metal detecting couple have found one of the biggest ever treasure hoards in Britain that is believed to be worth around ??5m. Adam Staples and partner Lisa Grace unearthed the 'once in a lifetime' find of almost 2,600 ancient coins that date back 1,000 years. Although the find is smaller than the famous Staffordshire Hoard - the biggest collection of buried coins and artefacts discovered in Britain - it is thought to be at least ??1m more valuable. Intriguingly, the 2,571 silver coins are made up of King Harold II pennies from the end of Anglo-Saxon England and William the Conqueror coins, after the 1066 Norman conquest. Many of the coins are in mint condition and could be valued anywhere between ??1,000 and ??5,000 each.
Any money raised from the haul will be split 50/50 with the owner of the land (Picture: BNPS)

Speaking to Treasure Hunting Magazine they said the hoard was ‘amazing’ and ‘absolutely mind-blowing’.

Coin expert and consultant for auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb Nigel Mills said: ‘Harold II coins are rarer than William coins and could be worth between £2,000 to £4,000 each. The William I coins will be between £1,000 and £1,500.

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‘This hoard could be worth between £3m and £5m. Museums have been buying up all of the hoards found, but in this case the hoard may be too great for them. It maybe that an appeal for sponsors is launched to try and acquire them.’

He added: ‘They would have been buried within two or three years after 1066 and probably before 1072.

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‘The Romans buried their coins for the Gods but in this case they were probably hidden and the owner died before they could go back for them.

Adam Staples and partner Lisa Grace unearthed the 'once in a lifetime' find of almost 2,600 ancient coins that date back 1,000 years. Although the find is smaller than the famous Staffordshire Hoard - the biggest collection of buried coins and artefacts discovered in Britain - it is thought to be at least ?1m more valuable. Intriguingly, the 2,571 silver coins are made up of King Harold II pennies from the end of Anglo-Saxon England and William the Conqueror coins, after the 1066 Norman conquest. Many of the coins are in mint condition and could be valued anywhere between ?1,000 and ?5,000 each.
The couple have remained tight-lipped about the huge discovery

‘It would have been a substantial amount of money back then. Not a king, but somebody high up and important, somebody of substance.

‘They didn’t have banks back then so where else were they going to store their money safely?’

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A spokesman for the Metal Detectives Group said: ‘When you find something like that you keep where you find it very quiet.

‘If it is treasure it will be put out to tender to museums to acquire. A museum and treasure valuation committee will give the hoard a value.

‘But you are talking a minimum of £500 per coin and with 2,500 coins that is a lot. But some will be rarer and more valuable than others.’

A spokesman for the British Museum said: ‘We can confirm that a large hoard of late Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins was discovered in January and has been handed in to the British Museum as possible Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996).

‘This appears to be an important discovery.’

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