Imagine thinking you had struck it rich, only to find out that the gold you had uncovered simply wasn’t real.
In an almost comical turn of events, this exact situation befell a pair of treasure hunters near Suffolk, England.
Ersatz Roman Gold Coins Trip Up Detectorists
How, you might wonder, did fake gold end up buried in a field in Britain, anyway?
It turns out that there’s a popular television program on the BBC called “The Detectorists.” It (rather ironically, in this case) centers around main characters who are treasure hunters that use metal detectors.
The show filmed a recent episode in the field where the imitation coins were found. The production crew ended up forgetting to recover some of the coins before they left.
The result: a perfect (albeit unintentional) trap was laid for some unsuspecting treasure-seeker to stumble upon.
Expert Appraisal Reveals the Lack of Authenticity
The two metal detectorists who found the replica coins had them looked at by a numismatic expert. The appraiser quickly noticed the appearance of the coins was incorrect, and concluded that they were fakes.
One can only imagine how these treasure hunters’ jubilation so quickly shifted to disappointment.
The find could have been worth an astounding £250,000 if it had been real.
If there’s any consolation, however, it’s this: Even the replica props are reportedly worth £270 (about $375), according to coverage by The Sun in the U.K.
This unfortunate story—and the fact that “The Detectorists” is a hit TV show—is still very telling. It shows that the metal detecting hobby is becoming an increasingly common pastime in the treasure-rich British Isles.
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