A metal detector enthusiast searching a field on a farm just outside Uttoxeter, Staffordshire last year had the shock of his life when he unearthed a hoard of 82 silver coins.
This incredible find contained silver coins minted during the reigns of Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I and mainly consisted of shillings, sixpences and half crowns, but also three groats, fourpenny pieces and two Irish shillings.
They were assessed by Dr Barrie Cook, a British Museum coin expert, who believes they were likely to have been buried during the 1640s, as the most recent monarch featured on any of the coins is Charles I.
At this time, Charles I was fighting for survival in the brutal English Civil War. Dr Cook therefore suggests that the hoard was buried to keep them safe from the war raging across the country, but the owner for whatever reason never recovered them.
He wrote “During this massively disruptive and traumatic period, it is likely that many more hoards than usual were hidden for security and it is definitely the case that many remained unclaimed thanks to the tumults of the time.”
Now, an inquest has ruled that the coins do constitute treasure and will therefore now be valued, with museums given the opportunity to purchase them. The proceeds from any sale will be split evenly between the metal detector, Mark Greensmith, and the landowner.
Fortunate to have made such an astounding discovery, Mr Greensmith can now look forward to benefiting not just from the price of silver, but also from the incredible amount of history contained within his hoard.