Metal detector pair strike gold with £10m hoard of Celtic coins

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The Independent Online

A pair of metal detector enthusiasts struck gold in Jersey after discovering a hoard of Celtic coins worth millions of pounds.

Locals Reg Mead and Richard Miles found between 30,000 and 50,000 coins, which experts think were buried to hide them from the advancing armies of Julius Caesar.

They are thought to be worth between £100 and £200 each, giving a potential value of between £3m and £10m. But the generous treasure hunters and the owner of the land on which the hoard was found have said they want the coins to be put on display for the people of Jersey to enjoy. Mr Mead had been investigating the field for 30 years since he heard a report that coins were scattered on the ground when a tree was uprooted.

The coins are thought to date from 50BC – a time when Caesar's armies were advancing north through France, driving the tribal communities towards the coast.

Jersey Heritage's curator of archaeology, Olga Finch, said the find was "of international significance".

"The fact that it has been excavated archaeologically is also rare and will greatly enhance the level of information we can glean about the people who buried it," she said.

"It is an amazing contribution to the study of Celtic coins. It reinforces just how special Jersey's archaeology is."

As the find contains objects of precious metal, it has been reported to the HM Receiver General, who will work with Jersey Heritage to determine the status of the hoard.

Celtic coin expert Dr Philip de Jersey said: "It will add a huge amount of new information, not just about the coins, but the people who were using them."