Metal detectorist looking for friend’s wedding ring discovers haul of gold coins worth at least £100,000

‘This is the moment we dreamed of,’ says man who discovered the hoard

Zamira Rahim@ZamiraRahim
Thursday 07 November 2019 15:23
Metal detectorists looking for wedding ring find gold coins

A metal detectorist who was searching for his friend’s lost wedding ring was rewarded for his efforts when he stumbled across a hoard of gold coins believed to be worth £100,000.

Paul Raynard was on holiday when he discovered the trove in a field in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland.

The lighting engineer was searching with his friend and business partner Michael Gwynne, when a third friend asked them to help look for the ring.

They had been on the hunt for two hours when Mr Raynard found the haul of 84 coins, the oldest of which dates back more than 500 years.

Video footage of the moment that the 44-year-old found the haul shows the businessman pulling several muddy coins from the soil.

“This is the moment we dreamed of!” Mr Raynard shouts. “There’s a f****** fortune here.”

He said he then “jumped up and down and ran down the field in tears to find Michael”.

The oldest coin features an image of Henry VIII ( SWNS)

Mr Raynard added: “It’s something I have dreamed of finding since I was a kid. It was an amazing feeling. It’s like checking your lottery numbers and realising you’ve hit the jackpot.”

The oldest coin is dated 1512 and was made when Henry VIII was king. Mr Raynard believes it could be worth as much as £5,000.

Another coin, dated 1546, could be worth up to £3,000, while he thinks others could be sold for hundreds of pounds each.

The stash of coins found in a field in Northern Ireland

Mr Raynard and Mr Gwynne usually study old maps for signs of ancient settlements or battlegrounds where such coins may be buried.

“I saw one or two coins at first but had no idea of the size of the hoard to begin with,” Mr Raynard said. “I went to fetch Michael who was across the field so we could share the moment together. I was shaking, I still can’t believe it now.”

The 44-year-old has been interested in metal detecting since he was seven.

He purchased a £600 detector nine years ago.

Mr Raynard said he had sent the coins to the Ulster Museum where a team of experts will value them.

If he sells the coins, the money will be split equally between him and the landowner.

Additional reporting by agencies

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