A U.K. treasure hunter named Walter Hanks used his metal detector to track down a hoard of thousand-year-old Viking coins in Llandwrog, Wales in March. The coins have since been legally declared “treasure” by a coroner, and will now be held at the British Museum until the National Museum Wales is able to fund its anticipated purchase of the discovery.
RTE News notes that appraisals have dated the coins to the time of King Cnut the Great, who ruled England, Denmark, Norway, and parts of Sweden from the year 1016 until 1035. 14 silver pennies made in Dublin, Ireland under Hiberno-Scandinavian ruler Sihtric Anlafsson were discovered, eight of which date back to 995 A.D. and six that are thought to have been made in 1018.
Other artifacts were found as well, including finger-shaped silver ingots and fragments of three or four pennies of Cnut, which were probably produced at the mint of Chester around the same time. The ingots support research showing that bullion “retained an active role in the Manx economy from the 1030s to 1060s,” according to Dr. Mark Redknap, Head of Collections and Research in the Department of History and Archeology at the National Museum Wales. “As such,” he continued, “(the discovery) amplifies the picture we are building up of the wealth and economy operating in the kingdom of Gwynedd in the eleventh century.” The hoard is thought to have been buried between 1020 and 1030.
Hoard almighty http://t.co/7ttxsoMtXB Rare viking coins and ingots discovered in Gwynedd declared treasure by coroner
— BBC Wales News (@BBCWalesNews) August 27, 2015
The value of the coins has not yet been disclosed, but a spokesperson for the National Museum Wales detailed the process of appraising the exciting find. “Now that the hoard has been declared treasure by the coroner, the next step will be to courier this to The British Museum for temporary safe keeping. The independent Treasure Valuation Committee will commission an expert valuer to offer their view on current market/collector value and the committee will consider this before making their recommendation.” Typically, the statement explains, the “value is split equally between the finder and the landowner with each getting 50% of the current market value.”