Civil war-era coins worth £100,000 unearthed in field behind pub
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A metal detectorist unearthed the ‘biggest haul of his life’ when he discovered more than 1,000 silver coins estimated to be worth £100,000 near a Suffolk pub.
Luke Mahoney, 40, and two of his friends stayed up for three nights straight last week as they searched a field behind the Lindsey Rose pub, Lindsey, after the landowners, Charlie and James Buckle, granted him permission.
Starting at 10am on Sunday, July 26 with his friends Dan Hunt and Matt Brown, Mr Mahoney scoured the 15-acre field and first found a gold coin and sixpence before taking a break for lunch.
However, upon their return to the field the trio began discovering coins “everywhere”, as well as a cracked clay earthenware pot.
They stayed up over three nights keeping watch over the field to prevent ‘nighthawks’ - rival detectorists hoping to loot valuable sites in the dark - from capitalising on their find.
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Overall, the group unearthed 1,061 silver hammered coins dating back to somewhere in the 15th to the 17th century, according to experts.
Valuation expert Nigel Mills examined some of the coins found and said the hoard would fetch at least £100,000 at auction.
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He said the earliest coin was an Elizabeth I era shilling dating back to 1573-78, with the find also containing many Charles I half crowns from 1641-43.
After unearthing the haul, Mr Mahoney contacted a finds liaison officer to record the discovery and declared the treasure to the coroner.
Museums will have the opportunity to bid for the coins when they are sent to auction.
Mr Mahoney said he searched the field for the “rush” and compared the feeling of discovering a huge haul to catching a big fish.
He said: “We went into the field at about 10am. We did some detecting in the morning and found a beautiful gold coin and a little sixpence and then we went and had lunch at the pub.
“We went back out to the fields and almost immediately I hit this signal and I pulled out this Charles I coin. Then I hit another signal, and another.
“They were everywhere. It was pandemonium. After ten minutes of searching I hit this massive signal and I thought ‘this is it’.
“We dug and saw the pot. That feeling of scraping the dirt away and seeing the coins is indescribable.
“I stayed up for three days solid. I didn’t sleep, I just sat there with my eyes open looking for nighthawks.
“I waited in my car watching all night making sure no-one tried to sneak in and take the hoard. Even now I am a bit paranoid.”