Amateur treasure hunters find 14th-century coins worth estimated $200G

A group of amateur treasure hunters in England found a hoard of gold and silver coins from the 14th-century that could be worth nearly $200,000 according to experts.

38-year-old Andrew Winter and three of his friends found the coins, more than 550 in total, in Buckinghamshire, including 12 "orantely decorated" silver Edward I and II coins, SWNS reports.

"It felt unreal," 30-year-old Mateusz Nowak, a hospital worker in the country, said in comments obtained by SWNS. "After finding the hoard, and then clearing the area, we had to extend the search twice more because we were finding so much."

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"It was a miracle moment after moment for everyone," Nowak added.

In total, 557 coins were excavated, including 12 "ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death." The lot will be held safe at a museum and then independently evaluated before it is sold, with the proceeds being split with the landowner.

The silver coins are believed to be from the reign of both Edward I and Edward II, from 1272 until 1327. The gold coins are thought to be from Edward III's reign, which lasted until 1377.

Most of the coins are worth between $25 and $65 (£20 and £50) each, but some of the rarer ones, including the full gold nobles, can be quite valuable, at approximately $13,000 (£10,000) each, according to experts.

One of the gold coins. The four hunters struck gold in a field in Buckinghamshire and were initially delighted to find 12 ornately decorated silver Edward I and II coins. Over four days they excavated 557 coins - including 12 ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death. (Credit: SWNS)

One of the gold coins. The four hunters struck gold in a field in Buckinghamshire and were initially delighted to find 12 ornately decorated silver Edward I and II coins. Over four days they excavated 557 coins - including 12 ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death. (Credit: SWNS)

Winter said the rare coins "look like they've come straight off the shelf," adding that some of them have markings on them, including "like little birds or churches - I have never seen before."

Though it is unclear how the coins got there, the group has its suspicions, including that they were hidden as a safeguard by a wealthy person more than 600 years ago. "It is my opinion that someone has hidden that money," Mateusz said.

The hoard is believed to be the biggest gold find in nearly 10 years and the largest find of silver coins in 12 years.

Winter added that they made the find using his metal detector machine, which emitted a code suggested they had found something, so the group started digging. Initially, they found two silver coins and as they kept digging, more coins popped up.

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Some of the silver coins. The men - more used to digging up shotgun shells and thimbles than treasure - were astonished to find coin after coin from the hidden ancient hoard. (Credit: SWNS) 

Some of the silver coins. The men - more used to digging up shotgun shells and thimbles than treasure - were astonished to find coin after coin from the hidden ancient hoard. (Credit: SWNS) 

Tobiasz Nowak, Matiusz' brother, said he never thought the group would get so lucky. "It was the best weekend of my life," he said. "I'll remember it my whole life."

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