World's largest iron age coin hoard are bought by the island of Jersey

World’s largest ever hoard of iron age coins found in a field are bought from the Queen by the island of Jersey for £4MILLION – using funds retrieved from criminals

  • Two amateur metal detectorists had spent decades combing a single field 
  • Some 69,347 coins which were 2,000 years old were then found under a hedge 
  • The coins were estimated to be worth £10 million and were declared treasure 
  • The historic collection of coins will now remain in Jersey Heritage’s care

The world’s largest ever hoard of iron age coins which were found in a field have have been bought from the Queen by the island of Jersey for £4million.

The ‘Le Catillon II’ hoard was discovered in 2012 by two amateur metal detectorists who had spent decades combing a single field.

Reg and Richard Miles initially received a tip-off in the 1980s from a woman who said she had spotted something that looked like silver buttons.

The ‘Le Catillon II’ hoard was discovered in 2012 by two amateur metal detectorists who had spent decades combing a single field

In the end, 69,347 coins were found under a hedge in a mound of clay, being unearthed after 2000 years underground.

The coins had been estimated to be worth £10 million.

The Roman and Celtic silver and gold coins were entombed under a hedge in a large mound of clay, weighing three-quarters of a ton and measuring 140 x 80 x 20cm.

The hoard was later declared as ‘treasure’ by the Government, meaning that the coins became the property of the Queen – though the pair did get a reward.

Neil Mahrer, Conservator for the Jersey Heritage Museum, is seen inspecting the coins. Some 69,347 coins were found under a hedge in a mound of clay, being unearthed after 2000 years underground

A sum of £4.25m was paid and agreed by the Council of Ministers from the civil asset recovery fund, which is money recovered from criminal activities.

It means the historic collection of coins will now remain in Jersey Heritage’s care.

Part of the financial settlement included a £250,000 payment to Jersey Heritage for their work towards dismantling the coins, and an additional £250,000 which will be used to establish a trust.

The Chief Minister of Jersey, John Le Fondre, said the purchase was made ‘in the interest of the island’.

He told the BBC: ‘This is an outcome which will ensure that this unique part of Jersey’s history remains in the island for this and future generations.

‘Since its discovery nine years ago, Jersey Heritage conservators, archaeologists and volunteers have unpicked and studied the hoard, but there is still much that it can reveal about Jersey and our place in the world at the time of Christ.’

The previous largest coin hoard from Wiltshire was discovered in 1978 at the former Roman town of Cunetio near to Mildenhall.

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