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Metal Detectorist Finds Treasure Hoard of 8,000 Ancient Roman Coins

Roman coin hoard

By Shaquille Brissett for Gainesville Coins ….

Another roman Coin Hoard found with metal detector

There are times when persistence pays off in a big way. This turned out to be exceedingly true for one treasure hunter from Altrincham, a small British market town in Greater Manchester.

It was January of 2015, and Cheshire, a county in the northwest portion of England between Manchester and Liverpool, was experiencing some exceptionally cold temperatures. Treasure seekers Ronald Lees and his friend Rick Parker circled the Cheshire field for the fourth time, and for the fourth time they came up empty. They grit their teeth to endure the freezing rain that beat against them. This is where normal men would have given up, but the two decided to make one more trip round, that’s when they heard it.

The metal detector started like an alarm clock and the 62-year-old Lees sprung into action.

“I started scraping with a trowel,” he said, “a coin flipped up, followed by another and another—they were just coming out of the ground.”

The adventures in treasure hunting began when Lees was in his twenties, though he would go on hiatus in the decades to follow. But when he made his return only three years ago he never imagined that he would unearth dozens of bronze coins from ancient Rome.

And if that wasn’t enough, Lees–with the help of archaeologists provided by the Finds Liaison Officer–would discover 7,800 more coins in that very location!

Last week, an inquest was held at the Macclesfield Town Hall wherein the deputy Coroner for Cheshire, Alan Moore, declared the coins legal treasure.

“It is an absolutely amazing find,” said Moore to Lees. “It must have made your day. I wish you every luck in your metal detecting in the future.”

Museums have the ability to lay claim to treasure finds, but it is up to the Treasure Valuation Committee to determine the worth of the hoard and decide how much compensation the finder will receive.

Lees’s interests, however, transcend mere financial gain. “The last person who held the coins could have been a Roman Emperor, a gladiator or a serf,” he said excitedly.

According to the British Museum’s Richard Abdy the hoard contains the following:

  • 1,902 coins from the reign of Tetricus I
  • 745 coins from the reign of Tetricus II
  • 1,670 coins from the reign of Victorinus (269-71 CE)
  • 899 coins from the reign of Gallienus (260-68 CE)
  • 599 coins from the reign of Claudius II (268-70 CE)
  • 354 coins from the reign of Posthumus (260-69 CE)
  • Plus over 1,000 other coins

Abdy revealed that the coins are similar to many of the Romano-British coin hoards that were buried after the rebellion of the Gallic Empire, and range in date from 251 CE to 274.

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The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.


Gainesville Coins sells a wide range of precious metals bullion and certified coins. The company is 5-star rated by the National Inflation Association (NIA), the highest rated Gold and Silver Seller by the NIA. Gainesville Coins also buys precious metals investments.

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