By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Earlier this month, a coin hoard dating to the late 13th and early 14th centuries was uncovered by a group of metal detectorists in Buckinghamshire, England who took part in a new biannual metal detecting rally. Four men searching a field near Hambleden discovered a total of 557 coins–545 silver pieces and 12 gold full nobles–over four days at the event.
A little over two weeks ago marked the first Spring Detectival, held by the organizers of the Detectival, which takes place usually in the fall. The metal detecting festival is attended by hobbyists from around the world, giving detectorists a chance to pursue their hobby in a social setting.
In fact, not all four of the men who made this fantastic coin hoard find even knew each other before the rally; three of them:–Andrew Winter (38), and the brothers Tobiasz and Mateusz Nowak (30 and 38, respectively)–were together searching the same area as Dariusz Fijalkowski (44) when both groups made simultaneous discoveries. After at least three coins were uncovered and the find had to be reported to the rally organizers, the four men agreed to share the discovery and made efforts to protect the plot of land from poachers – going so far as to camp out on the field overnight.
Called the Hambleden Hoard due to the field’s proximity to the nearby town, it is reputed to be the biggest hoard of gold coins discovered since the Ackworth Hoard was found in 2011 and the largest hoard of silver coins discovered since the Harrogate Hoard in 2007. 52 gold coins from the 16th century were excavated in High Ackworth, West Yorkshire and 617 silver coins from the 10th century were found near Harrogate in North Yorkshire.
The silver coins discovered at Hambleden date from the reigns of the kings Edward I “Longshanks” (ruled 1272-1307) and Edward II (1307-1327). Several mints, including Lincoln, Birmingham, Ireland and Scotland, are represented. Most of the silver coins range in expected value from £20 to £50 (about $26 to $65 USD), with scarcer coins valued up to approximately £500 ($647 USD). The gold coins denominated at a full noble are said to be valued at almost £10,000 ($13,000 USD) each.
On the first day, the group dug up 276 silver coins and nine of the gold nobles. According to an initial estimate, the entire find may be worth almost £150,000 (about $194,000 USD).
Below is some footage taken during the excavation of the site at the Spring Detectival.
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