30-Year Quest Ends In $15m Treasure

30-Year Quest Ends In $15m Treasure

Thirty years ago, a farmer found a few Iron Age silver coins while working on his land in the island of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy. Now, after combing the soil with metal detectors for three decades, two treasure hunters have found a hoard of silver and gold coins, the biggest of its kind, valued at $US15 million.

The treasure was inside that large block of clay that you can see wrapped in the image. It contains 30,000 to 50,000 silver a gold Celtic coins dating from the 1st century BC. The coins — which could have been buried to prevent Roman troops from getting them — are from Armorica and they have been buried for more than 2000 years. Each coin is worth £100 to £200 ($156 to $311).

Now the treasure is at the Jersey Heritage Museum, where conservator Neil Mahrer is cleaning and investigating them. Mahrer says this is the biggest discovery of its kind: “This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting.”

If Mahrer is excited, imagine the excitement of the discoverers, Reg Mead and Richard Miles, after spending 30 years of their lives trying to locate this fabled treasure buried in the island of Jersey just using metal detectors. Earlier this year, Mead and Miles found a stash of 61 ones, all of them silver except one made of gold.

The good news for them: there may be more. The bad news: the States of Jersey has to say who actually owns the treasure. [Yahoo and Daily Mail]