A large Jersey hoard of Roman coins tour
Jersey Heritage offer coin hoard tour to help fund conservation
The hoard of more than 70,000 Celtic coins was discovered in June 2012 in a Grouville field by pair of Metal Detector Friends Mr Reg Mead and Mr Richard Miles.
The hoard is to believed the largest Celtic coins hoard ever found. Each one of the 30,000–50,000 coins is estimated to be worth around £200 each, putting the value of the haul at up to £10 milion.
The coins are thought to be from the first century BC and were found buried three feet deep under a hedge in a farmer’s field on Jersey island.
Two thousand years ago the Channel Island, was a refuge for tribes fleeing what is now northern France from the invading Roman armies. As the legions of Julius Ceasar drew closer, the hoard is believed to had been buried by a Celtic tribe called the Coriosolitae, in the hope it could be recovered once the danger had passed.
Mr Mead, 70, and Mr Miles, a customs officer in his 40s, used a powerful metal detector known as a deepseeker, so called “two box” detector, specifically designed to pick up large targets.
Mr Mead said: “The machine picked up a really strong signal – so we immediately got in touch with professional archaeologists. They started digging and we could not believe how many coins there were. All of them were stuck together. I have been searching for things like this since 1959 and never found anything on this scale before. We had been searching that land for 30 years. I am absolutely numb at the moment. To find one haul of coins in a lifetime is rare, but to find two is just unheard of.”
Neil Mahrer of Jersey Heritage Museum, who helped to excavate the money, said:
“This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting. All the coins are silver and a common theme is a picture of a man or god’s head on one side of the coin and a horse on the other. They are covered in green corrosion because the silver is mixed with copper and copper corrodes. But they should come up again in a good condition.”
Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert atOxfordUniversity, said:
“The find is very significant. It will add a huge amount of new information, not just about the coins themselves, but the people who were using them.”
About 80 people will be given the chance to tour what is believed to be the world’s largest Celtic coin hoard, Jersey Heritage confirms. The exclusive tours will help raise money to fund further conservation work on the items. They will be part of the Edge of Empire exhibition atJerseyMuseumin 2014. Jersey Heritage Trust Conservator Neil Mahrer has spent the past year creating a model of the one tonne mound of silver and copper coins, gold pieces and mud.
Work is now under way to prepare the coins already uncovered, and the replica made by Mr Mahrer, for an exhibition atJerseyMuseumnext year.
The last time it went on display in 2012 the number of visitors to the museum trebled.