Treasure Hunter finds 47,000 Silver Coins in Romania; Turns Them Over to Museum

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Part of the 47,000 15th Century Ottoman silver coins given to National History Museum in Bucharest by Iulian Enache
(photo: National History Museum)

A 34-year old Romanian amateur archaeologist has uncovered 47,000 silver coins in the wilderness near Ramnicu Valcea with his recently-purchased metal detector, and has donated the entire lot to the Romanian National Museum of History.

The massive horde of 15th century Ottoman coins, know as “aspri” or “accee” weighed over 54 kilograms (120 pounds) and given a rough value of €500,000 ($663,000).  Museum director Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu said the discovery was the largest silver treasury ever found in Romania. “It is the biggest treasury recovered by a public institution in Romania, not only in the last 20 years, but in the last 100 years,” he said.

Enache stumbled across the amazing find buried 30cm (approx. 1 ft) under the ground while looking for artifacts with his new metal detector. The coins were minted during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Murat II, who conquered most of the Balkans, and were accepted as currency as far away as Italy. The discovery of such an unprecedented treasure has sparked plans by professional archaeologists for a survey and excavations in the area it was found. Such a mass of treasure in one place has great historical significance.

(sources at Argophilia Travel News and Romania Insider used for this article)

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