In Brief

Iron Age coins: how record-breaking £10m hoard was discovered

Two amateur treasures hunters handed Guinness World Records title after unearthing pre-Christian haul on Jersey

A hoard of 69,347 silver and gold Iron Age coins found on the island of Jersey has been officially recognised as the UK’s largest ever discovery of its kind.

Metal detector enthusiasts Reg Mead and Richard Miles discovered the massive haul of pre-Christian coins, valued at an estimated £10m, following a 30-year search triggered by a tip-off from a local resident. 

The pair began their hunt after woman told them in the 1980s that she had spotted a “shiny button” in a field on the island, reports The Telegraph.

They finally found the ancient treasure in 2012, in a clay mound under a hedge at a depth of just over 3ft (91cm), adds Metro. The coins are thought to date from around 50BC and weigh almost 1,700lb (121st).

Following a lengthy verification process, the stash has now been confirmed by the Guinness World Records to be the largest collection of ancient coins ever found on the British Isles - overtaking the previous record of 54,951 found in Wiltshire in the 1970s.

The world record is 150,000 silver pennies from the 13th century, found in Brussels in 1908.

Mead and Miles described receiving their Guinness World Record certificates as “lovely”, and said they had been “involved the whole way through”.

The Jersey collection has been officially declared “treasure”, which means it belongs to the Crown. However, the two metal detectorists are entitled to a reward, which Metro suggests is likely to be “considerable”.

A number of the coins are now on display at the island’s La Hougue Bie Museum.

Olga Finch, curator of archaeology for Jersey Heritage, said the discovery “demonstrates the world-class heritage that Jersey has to offer”.

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