A hoard of 10 gold coins discovered in Kent in 2016 is finally on display at a nearby museum, and although the coins themselves are small, the historic nature of the find is immense.
An Unexpected Discovery
The group of gold coins was found at a site near Chiddingstone Castle, which boasts a rather long history of its own.
All of the coins dated to the 1st century BCE, squarely within the Iron Age. They were found by a treasure hunter with a metal detector.
The finder, Jonathan Barber, had been searching the area near Chiddingstone for years without ever finding something of quite this magnitude.
However, the ground had recently been plowed, which brought these ancient coins closer to the surface. Barber promptly reported the find to the U.K.’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).
Each of the 10 coins is a gold stater from northern France. They were struck back in antiquity just across the English Channel from Kent, a county situated on the southeast coast of England. Researchers determined that the presence of the coins must be related to the Gallic Wars initiated by Julius Caesar.
This is only the second time that gold coins of this origin have ever been found in Britain.
Ancient Coins Back Where They Belong
After being evaluated as treasure by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the hoard was acquired by the Eden Valley Museum. The museum is located in the town of Edenbridge, and is the closest such institution to the site where the coins were found.
A number of charitable organizations and government trusts provided the bulk of the funding (about £13,000, or almost $18,000) for the museum to acquire these artifacts.
The hoard finally went on display to the public in early April.
The design of the coins is uniface, meaning that one side is blank. The engraved side (the obverse) depicts a horse—much like a Celtic gold stater.
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