Imagine firing up your metal detector, waving it back and forth over the earth rhythmically. You hear the long-awaited ping, and begin to dig into the dirt, not knowing if you’ll find a tin can, or something a little more interesting. Now imagine discovering that ping was set off by a treasure from the 7th century. It’s exciting enough to find buried silver or gold. But finding ancient treasure from the Anglo-Saxon era, now that is very exciting.
And excited is just what Darrin Simpson was when he discovered an Anglo-Saxon coin last March in Sussex, England. While out searching with his metal detector one day, it began hailing. Simpson started to run for cover from the inclement weather. As he ran, his metal detector went off. A true treasure hunter at heart, Simpson decided to stick out the hail, and he started to dig. And it’s a good thing he did! Beneath the soil, he discovered an Anglo-Saxon silver coin.
Astonishingly, just a month later, another metal detector enthusiast named Barry Shannon uncovered a small yellow gold figurine of a fish in Northern Ireland. The fish is believed to have been part of a belt buckle, and it was also dated to the Anglo-Saxon era. Shannon found the fish on his aunt’s property during only his fourth time ever using a metal detector. Making the story that much more interesting, Shannon himself is a fisherman! It’s definitely the best fish tale he’ll ever tell.
So it seems that gorgeous historical treasure is popping up all over the UK. And, until recently, not much was known about the metalwork from the Anglo-Saxon era. That was until the Staffordshire Hoard was discovered a few years ago.
On July 5th, 2009, more than 3,000 silver and gold items were found near Staffordshire, England. The items were dated back to the 7th and 8th centuries, during the Kingdom of Mercia, which places them in the Anglo-Saxon era. The hoard is the largest Anglo-Saxon metal artifact discovery ever. Before the Staffordshire Hoard’s, the exact level of craftsmanship among metalworkers of this era was not known. These discoveries are great not only because of the value of the items, but because they give archaeologists a deeper understanding of the Anglo-Saxon era.
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.