England’s largest ever hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold coins has just been discovered by treasure hunters in Norfolk, England.
131 gold coins, primarily Frankish Tremisses, were uncovered by metal detectorists–or treasure seekers–along with four other gold objects in a single field in the western part of Norfolk.
The gold is believed to have been buried some 1,400 years ago in Early Medieval times before England was united. Metal detecting as a hobby has grown in England in recent years, helping to discover gold stashes buried in the countryside. The discovery of the coins, along with other hoards, has helped prove the significance of the Anglo-Saxon economy. (Story continues below.)
The owner of the Norfolk land on which the gold hoard was discovered has chosen to remain anonymous. The detectorist has also elected to remain anonymous. Both notified the authorities amid the discovery of the treasure.
A local police officer, however, also discovered ten of the coins and tried to sell him. He was jailed for 16 months after admitting theft.
The Treasure Act in England permits museums to obtain ownership of such objects for the benefit of the public and a reward is typically paid to the finder and the landowner for the treasure. These rewards are typically offered at full market value. Gold is currently trading near $1800 an ounce.
Norwich Castle hopes to acquire the hoard.