10 Amazing Metal Detecting Finds of All Time

by Binupriya Tomy2 years ago
Picture 10 Amazing Metal Detecting Finds of All Time

History has never ceased to amaze us and every day we are introduced to new information and new discoveries about the world before us. Archaeologists, researchers, and those using metal detectors are constantly coming across new findings of history that sometimes change everything we have learned so far about past civilizations. Many archeological sites containing huge amounts of items from different eras have been unearthed to study, and most of the items discovered there are accidental finds by archaeologists and individuals who accidentally uncovered treasures while electronically surfing lands with their metal detectors. Below is a list of 10 amazing metal detecting finds of all time.

1 A British man in 2012 found gold from the Roman age 20 minutes after buying a metal detector. He brought a beginner’s Garret Ace 150 metal detector from a cheap, local shop in his neighborhood. The coins he discovered were almost 2,000 years old and were found in a field in Kent. The coin discovered was identical to a find from 50 years ago minted by Emperor Allectus, who modern-day historians call the “Brexiteer” of that time. 

Roman Age Treasure
Mr Carrington discovered a hoard of solid-gold Solidi dating back nearly 1,700 years to the decline of the Roman Empire. Image credit: Kerry Daves/INS News Agency Ltd via dailymail.co.uk

A rare, 24-carat gold coin was discovered by an amateur using a metal detector in Kent. The coin has the visage of the Roman Emperor Allectus and two captives kneeling at the feet of god Apollo. Allectus was an emperor who ruled between 293 to 296 BCE. He was the one who was ruling when Britain left the Roman Empire. 

An expert authenticated the find and confirmed it with another gold coin found fifty years ago with an Electus visage which is on display in the British Museum. The 30-year-old metal detector operator considers it the find of his lifetime.

He came across the find after he set out for a search the same day he purchased his metal detector near Hertfordshire. He dug down only about seven inches when he struck gold. The antiquity is going to be auctioned off, and the finder and landowner will split the amount. (1, 2)


2 A four-year-old boy in Essex unearthed a 16th-century gold pendant worth a sum up to 2.5 million euros in 2010. The gold pendant weighed around 9 grams with an image of the Virgin Mary engraved on it. 

Gold pendant
Four year old James Hyatt discovered a 16th-century gold pendant. Image credit: dailymail.co.uk

Three-year-old James Hyatt found a 500-year-old gold pendant while he and his father were searching a field in Essex using a metal detector. The pendant is made up of 73% gold. It took only digging six to eight inches down to find the pendant. 

The image on the pendant is the Virgin Mary. The pendant has a back panel that does not slide anymore which the experts expect could have been designed to contain a relic. Devotion to Christ’s blood and wounds was an act of piety in the Medieval Ages. Any profit coming from the pendant will be split between the finder and the landowner. (1, 2)


3 The Hoxne Hoard is the largest find of the ancient Roman Empire found by a metal detector operated by Eric Lawes in a village in England in 1992. The treasure valuation committee has valued it at around 3.59 million euros and is now on public display in the British Museum in London.

Hoxne Hoard
Hoxne Hoard: Display case at the British Museum showing a reconstruction of the arrangement of the hoard treasure when excavated in 1992. Image credit: Mike Peel via Wikimedia.org

The Hoxne Hoard is the richest treasure found in Roman-occupied Britain. Approximately 1,500 coins were found during the excavation along with other precious objects.

These treasures were buried for safety when Britain was making their way out of the Roman empire. The most famous piece of the hoard is the Juliana bracelet, but many other valuable personal possessions were found during the search. 

The treasure was buried in a small oak box. The farmer who owned the land was looking for a lost hammer and asked for a person with a metal detector to help to find his hammer when they stumbled upon this treasure. The entire hoard was excavated in a single day. (1, 2)


4 One of the largest Anglo-Saxon hoards with 4,600 items was found in 2009 near Lichfield in England by a member of the Bloxwich Research and Metal Detecting Club. The excavation went on until 2012, and artifacts worth the sum of 3.28 million euros were unearthed. The landowner and the finder were rewarded with the sum to be shared equally. 

Staffordshire Treasure
Pieces from the Staffordshire hoard, an Anglo-Saxon treasure trove discovered in 2009. Image credit: David Rowan, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery via Wikimedia.org

Terry Herbert was searching farmland near Staffordshire with a metal detector when he discovered the gold artifacts. In the following days, the area was excavated, and around 244 objects were found.

Since the farmland had been plowed, the artifacts had been distributed throughout the land. The find was so important that the location was undisclosed initially. Over 3,500 pieces were discovered. The items are now displayed in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 

The treasure valuation committee valued the hoard at 3.285 million Britsh pounds. The museum that wished to acquire the treasures paid the landowner and finder the total sum of the hoard. By December 2012, 91 more items were found on the excavation site. (1, 2)


5 In 2009, an amateur treasure hunter, David Booth, found a treasure of the Iron Age. It consisted of gold worth 1 million euros. He found it with a metal detector he bought for 240 euros. The hoard had international significance. It had four golden neck ornaments. He was given 462,000 euros as reward money. 

Scotland’s Treasure Trove unit rewarded David Booth, chief ranger at Blair Drummond Park after he accidentally discovered four neck ornaments called “torcs.”

The jewelry is estimated to be around 2,000 years old. The treasure contains Iron Age gold objects from Scotland and Ireland. The panel of archaeological finds said that they are pleased with metal-detector finds from all around the country. 

Two of the four torcs found were “ribbon torcs,” which are finely twisted ornaments to be worn during ceremonies in the old days all around Ireland and Scotland. The remaining two have their origins in southwest France, but they are unusual pieces. One of the torcs is made of braided gold wire which is believed to have come from the British Isles. (1, 2)

Also Read:
10 Things That Were Discovered by Accident

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