Rare Roman Gold Coin Expected To Sell For $48,000 At Auction

November 21st, 2013 by

Licinius-I-gold-coin-minted-Trier-313AD

Ancient Roman coin found in Wiltshire expected to fetch £30,000 at auction Dec 5th (Dix Noonan Webb)

A lucky treasure hunter who followed a hunch while metal detecting is set to cash in next month, when his rare golden find hits the block in London. Auctioneer Dix Noonan Webb estimates that the ancient Roman coin, depicting Emperor Licinius I, will go for £30,000 ($48.500).

The metal detectorist, who had missed his club’s meeting, spend an hour and half in the rain and mud alone, with nothing to show. Just as he was giving up, he got an “iffy” signal on his metal detector, which usually signifies trash. Wanting to find at least one thing before heading home, he decided to dig.  The anonymous treasure hunter described the moment he found the coin: “Six inches down I dug out a clod of earth and sticking out of the side was the unmistakeable glint of gold.”  He said at first, given the weak signal from his machine, he thought he’d unearthed a candy wrapper until he pulled the coin free.

Experts say that the 21mm gold coin, which weighs 5.32 gram (.171 troy oz),  was minted in the German city of Trier in or around 313 AD. Trier was the location of the main mint for the Western Roman Empire. This gold coin was meant to be handed out on special occasions. This is only the fourth such coin known to exist, with the other three in British museums.

(read more at BBC News)