'Significant' Roman coin find in St Albans
By JulieGK | Thursday, October 18, 2012, 11:42
A haul of 159 coins found in St Albans is believed to be one of the largest Roman gold coin hoards ever discovered in the UK.
Evidence suggests that the Roman coins found in St Albans were disturbed in the last couple of hundred years due to quarrying activity or plough action.
The late Roman gold coins were found by a metal detecorist on private land in the north of the district.
A team from St Albans City & District Council's Museums' Service investigated the site at the beginning of October and confirmed the find.
The coins are in very good condition and were scattered across a fairly wide area. Evidence suggests that the hoard was disturbed in the last couple of hundred years due to quarrying activity or plough action.
The coins date to the very end of Roman rule in Britain, and there are practically no other comparable gold hoards of this period. After AD 408 no further coin supplies reached Britain.
The coins – called solidus (plural – solidi) date to the closing years of the fourth century. They were mostly struck in the Italian cities of Milan and Ravenna and issued under the Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, Theodosius, Arcadius and Honorius.
Such finds come under the Treasure Act 1996. The next stage is for the British Museum's panel of independent experts to examine the coins and make their report to the Coroner who will determine whether they are to be considered as 'treasure' under the Act. The value of the gold coins is not yet known.
Cllr Mike Wakely, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City & District Council said: "This is an exciting find of national significance, and one that our museums' team is very excited about. We hope to have an opportunity to display these coins at Verulamium Museum in St Albans over the coming months, once the formalities have been dealt with."
Verulamium Museum in St Albans will be presenting a talk on the Roman gold coins hoard on Thursday 1 November at 7pm. Tickets cost £7 and are available from the museum on 01727 751810, email firstname.lastname@example.org.