Category Archives: Old Coins in the News

Auction results of rare old coins, treasures discovered, and numismatic features

Group of 17th-Century Silver Coins Found in Northern Ireland Declared Treasure

March 31st, 2018 by

[This article also appears on CoinWeek.] For reasons of historical economic privation by its powerful southern neighbors in Great Britain, Ireland does not have a reputation for yielding very much buried treasure. You’re simply far less likely to find old gold or silver coins in Ireland and Northern Ireland than on the British mainland. This […]

Rare Third-Century Silver Coin Found In U.K.

March 4th, 2018 by

In Great Britain, it is an altogether regular occurrence that an enterprising metal detectorist strikes it big by finding some rare artifact. Last November, a man named Richard Patterson, a member of the Hampshire Detector Club, found an exceptionally rare silver coin that tells an incredible story in the history of Roman Britain.

Old Coins and Gold Declared Treasure in Devonshire Yet Again

February 18th, 2018 by

It’s astonishing how many treasure finds have been discovered in the U.K. in the vicinity of the English county of Devon (Devonshire) alone. This one community, located in the southwest corner of England, has seen an unbelievable number of treasure discovered in just the past several years.

robbery heist

Stolen Silver Denarius Coin Returned to Portugal

February 3rd, 2018 by

It’s an unfortunate reality that the ancient coin market is frequently plagued by unethical or outright illegal behavior. The incentives for fraud are strong because of high coin values and difficulty in tracking relics that were produced many centuries, even millennia, ago. In one case of triumph, a rare silver denarius coin from the Roman […]

Staggering Cache of Chinese Copper Coins Found

January 14th, 2018 by

The discovery of an ancient coin hoard is among the most exciting encounters an archaeologist can hope for. More often than not, hidden caches of ancient coins come from the Roman Empire. This makes sense given the sprawling territorial reach of the Ancient Romans. However, those of us in the West sometimes overlook the rich […]

gold dinars

France’s Biggest Medieval Coin Hoard Discovered

December 31st, 2017 by

As strange as it may sound, artifacts from our distant past often challenge or completely overturn our understanding of the present. One such discovery in France has the potential to reshape our preconceptions about numismatic history.


Pigeons Help Find English Civil War Silver Coins

December 16th, 2017 by

Human beings have long domesticated and interacted with pigeons. They are actually genetically indistinguishable from doves. Although feral pigeons are sometimes dismissed as “rats with wings” by city dwellers, a treasure discovery in England shows that these birds can be both a nuisance and a blessing.

Massive Numismatic Collection Emerges In Delaware

November 26th, 2017 by

Sometimes estate sales and liquidation sales by retirees can uncover fascinating cases of multi-generational coin collecting. From a numismatic perspective, this is especially interesting because it makes tracing the provenance—or “paper trail”—of the coins much easier. Provenance is important for authenticating particularly valuable antiques and collectibles. Knowing this backstory and chain of ownership adds to […]

Anglo-Saxon Gold Coin Hoard Found With Metal Detector

November 25th, 2017 by

On nearly a monthly basis, a metal detectorist or group of adventurous people with metal detectors somewhere in Great Britain uncovers a buried artifact that classifies as treasure under U.K. law. Any item containing at least 10% gold and dating more than 300 years old qualifies for the “treasure” designation, entitling the finder and land […]

More Shipwreck Gold From S.S. Central America

November 4th, 2017 by

S.S. Central America, an American steamer, sank in the Atlantic in 1857 carrying a significant quantity of gold bullion. Its original haul is estimated at more than a metric ton, and was perhaps as much as 20 tons, including thousands of what are now scarce $20 double eagle coins. Although the first coins and treasure from […]

Gold and Silver Ancient Roman Coins Found In Spain

October 21st, 2017 by

Much of Europe’s earliest recorded history tends to begin with the conquest of the Roman Empire. Of course, archaeologists and historians know that a number of cultures were active on the continent during the Bronze Age. Nonetheless, the progress for civilization brought about by the expansion of Ancient Rome is so transformative that its total […]

Construction In Russia Unearths Medieval Coins

October 8th, 2017 by

This year, there’s been a great deal of construction and infrastructure improvement in the Russian capital of Moscow. Amid the building projects and renovations, a surprising side-effect has emerged on more than one occasion: Rare old coins are being recovered from the construction sites!

Man Finds 600 Silver Denarii In England

October 1st, 2017 by

The silver denarius (plural: denarii) was one of the standards of Roman coinage during antiquity. These silver coins circulated around the empire for centuries, and are often one of the surest signs (as artifacts) of the presence of a marketplace during the time of Ancient Rome. In the small southern English town of Bridport, a […]