A Roman furniture fitting is also among the amateur finds reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme during the pandemic.

Gold coins dating to the late 15th century were discovered by someone weeding their garden in Hampshire, as the UK’s coronavirus lockdowns led to a rise in amateur finds.

The total value of the coins far exceeds the average annual wage in the Tudor period, according to experts.

They are among more than 47,000 discoveries registered with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) this year, including a Roman furniture fitting and a suspected medieval forgery of a bishop’s seal matrix.

Image:The entire hoard is said to have been worth more than the average wage at the time

The PAS recorded 6,251 finds during the first lockdown, when metal detecting was prohibited and enthusiasts started looking for treasure closer to home.

The scheme said the coins found in Hampshire included 63 gold and one silver. They were dug up in the New Forest area and are thought to have been deposited around 1540.

The finders had been pulling weeds out of their garden, the report said.

The hoard dates back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and includes four coins from Henry VIII’s reign.

They unusually feature the initials of three of the infamous monarch’s wives – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour – the British Museum said.

Image:Coins dating back to apartheid-era South Africa were found in Milton Keynes

Elsewhere, a collection of 50 gold coins from apartheid-era South Africa was discovered in a Milton Keynes garden.

The Krugerrand 1oz coins were minted by the Rand Refinery in Germiston in the 1970s, according to the report.

It is unclear how they ended up in Milton Keynes and a coroner will need to determine whether the original owner of the coins – or the heirs – are known.

The British Museum said it hopes a public appeal will lead to someone coming forward with information.

Image:A Roman furniture fitting was found in Hampshire

A copper-alloy Roman furniture fitting, dating from around AD 43-200, was found in Old Basing, Hampshire.

It is decorated with what experts describe as the “remarkably well-preserved face” of the god Oceanus and includes “intricate” seaweed fronds framing the god’s face, beard and moustache.

Also, a lead-alloy medieval seal matrix in the name of David, Bishop of St Andrews, was discovered in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

The pointed-oval matrix shows the bishop, identified as 13th century clergyman David de Bernham, standing in his vestments, with a crozier in his left hand.

The inscription in Latin reads “David, God’s messenger, bishop of St Andrews”.

High-status seals are usually made of copper-alloy or even silver, experts said, suggesting the matrix is a contemporary forgery.

The lead alloy seal matrix which was found in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

Finders have to report potential treasure to the local coroner under the Treasure Act 1996.

The British Museum also announced 81,602 archaeological finds were recorded in 2019, an increase of more than 10,000 on the previous year and bringing the total on the PAS database to well over 1.5 million objects.

Souce: News.sky.com

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