Treasure hunter strikes it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin

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A treasure hunter has struck it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin that could be worth more than £4,000 ($5,200)


A treasure hunter has struck it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin that could be worth more than £4,000 ($5,200), but refuses to part with his rare find.

Gareth Millward unearthed the coin in a field near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and says it is the highlight of his four-year hobby.

The 35-year-old says he had a hunch the piece of land he was inspecting was about to come up trumps as he headed out on the hottest day of the year last summer.

He had been scanning the area for six weeks and his friends had found rare sovereign coins – but his gold find was something a metal detectorist dreams of digging up.

A treasure hunter has struck it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin that could be worth more than £4,000 ($5,200)

Experts say the artefact, which has now been logged by Derby Museum, could fetch between £2,000 and £4,000 ($2,600 and $5,2000) at auction and Mr Millward’s example is in the best possible condition, which means it could be worth more.  

The hammered gold coin would have been used during the Tudor era and features an ancient ship with the Royal Arms on its sail.

Inscribed around the coin, in Latin, a passage reads: ‘By the cross save us, Oh Christ our Redeemer.’

About the find, he said: ‘After only 20 minutes in the field I got a deep, iffy signal with my metal detector.

‘I dug down around six inches of rock hard pasture, the signal was still in the bottom of the hole so took another two inches out expecting it to be deep lead.

‘As the bone dry dirt hit the ground next to the hole it crumbled to pieces revealing a flash of gold.

‘I knew instantly what it was, I picked it up and looked at it in amazement. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.

‘A solid 68 on the surface – I had unearthed a Henry VII full gold Angel, 1485-1509.’  

The hammered gold coin would have been used during the Tudor era and features an ancient ship with the Royal Arms on its sail

The hammered gold coin would have been used during the Tudor era and features an ancient ship with the Royal Arms on its sail

Gareth Millward, 35 (pictured), unearthed the rare find on the hottest day of the year last summer

Gareth Millward, 35 (pictured), unearthed the rare find on the hottest day of the year last summer

Mr Millward, of Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, described his excitement when he pulled the coin from the earth.

He added: ‘I shouted out loud “Oh my God, gold hammered! Gold hammered!”

‘I sat there for near on an hour in absolute disbelief trying to comprehend what had just happened.

‘This was only my fifth-ever hammered coin find. I spent a further two hours in that field and found almost nothing.

‘I asked myself how on earth did I walk straight on to this coin.

‘I must have been the luckiest man in metal-detecting on that day.’

HOW DO METAL DETECTORS WORK?  

The invention of the metal detector cannot be truly claimed by one person. 

It is a combination and amalgamation of several different pieces of technology. 

Alexander Graham Bell did fashion a device that was an electromagnetic, metal locating machine.

This was based on a device invented by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. 

Sometime later, an engineer Gerhard Fischer, filed a patent regarding a design. 

A metal detector consists of a stabiliser, control box, shaft, and search coil. 

It is the two coils that are actually responsible for the detection of metal. 

The outer coil is the transmitter coil while the inner coil is the receiver coil. 

This works to detect and amplify frequencies. This type of technology is known as Very Low Frequency or VLF technology. 

When electricity is provided to this transmitter coil, there is a magnetic field created around the coil.

This is the same science behind electromagnets.  

When the machine wafts over metal the electrons in the metal – due to its metallic bonding and sea of electrons surrounding a fixed positively charged mass –  are affected by the magnetic field. 

The change in the electrons triggers a tiny electrical field in the metal object which alters the frequency of the metal detector. 

This indicates  metal is present.  

More advanced metal detectors are also able of differentiating between different types of metal ad the frequency change is different and therefore the pitch of the note is altered. 

Source: The Detectorist 

The coin has been shown to the owner of the land Mr Millward was detecting in and the landowner let him keep it.

Mr Millward said: ‘He and his family were stunned. He said his father would have loved to see it but he had unfortunately passed away only a few week earlier.

‘We spoke for a while, he appreciated my honesty and said that the coin was mine to keep and also granted me permission to search the rest of his land.

‘This beautiful piece of history had been lost many centuries ago, laying undisturbed and dormant until I came plodding along with my detector.

‘I believe it was my destiny to find that coin on that day, but also the reward for my dedication and hard work in this great hobby.

‘My mind wanders at the story behind this coin, how it got there, who dropped it and what the landscape was like back then.

‘It fascinates me as well as frustrates me, knowing I’ll never quite know the truth.

‘But what I do know is this was the best day of my life.’

The rare coin, which has the passage 'By the cross save us, Oh Christ our Redeemer' inscribed in Latin around its rim, was unearthed in a field near Ashbourne, Derbyshire

The rare coin, which has the passage ‘By the cross save us, Oh Christ our Redeemer’ inscribed in Latin around its rim, was unearthed in a field near Ashbourne, Derbyshire



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