Treasurer hunter unearths ancient coins in field

A RIPLEY treasurer hunter has unearthed a hoarde of silver pennies from the 13th Century

The 17 coins were unearthed by treasure hunter David Beard in Duffield July last year on pasture land belonging to Barry Fitch.

Barry Cook, the curator of medieval and early modern coinage at the British Museum, who has inspected the find, said that the coins were badly damaged, most probably caused by the time they spent in the soil. Two were Scottish currency, minted in Berwick.

His report said: “Groups of pennies found in close quarters were laid as a single deposit and shows signs of a settlement in the area.”

The coins were found to have a 90 per cent fine silver content and were all declared treasure by Dr Robert Hunter at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court on Monday, April 2.

When treasure is found – and officially declared at an inquest – museums have first refusal on ownership, which will now happen. If they are not interested then it can be sold, but the landowner has rights to some of the funds.

Mr Beard also uncovered three Roman coins in Ripley in August last year. They were examined by the British Museum and they were found to date from 260AD.

One coin is from the reign of Philip I between 244 and 247 AD.