Durham group unearth 13th Century silver coins

A HOARD of silver coins which date back to the 13th Century has been unearthed by a group of treasure hunters.

Susan Jewitt who runs Amber's Digs
Susan Jewitt who runs Amber's Digs

A HOARD of silver coins which date back to the 13th Century has been unearthed by a group of treasure hunters.

The 22 King Edward I pennies were discovered by members of the Durham-based metal detector enthusiast group, Amber’s Digs, on Good Friday.

The valuable finds, all discovered within metres of each other on farmland at Sutton Bank, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, are believed to be part of a lost or stolen purse.

Now the never-before-seen nuggets of history, worth thousands of pounds, look set to be officially classed as treasure and put on public display.

Susan Jewitt, of Willington, County Durham, who runs Amber’s Digs with partner Graham Duff, said excitement spread like wildfire after the first coin was uncovered.

Little did the 57-year-old NHS receptionist know that her colleagues’ detectors would continue to buzz and a further 21 would be found.

She said: “The day was mind-blowing. Everybody was just jumping for joy.

“With all these coins being found in such a small area they will be classed as a hoard.”

Susan will now meet with representatives from museums in the North East and report the find to County Durham and Darlington coroner Andrew Tweddle.

All finds over 300 years old must be reported to the coroner under The Treasure Act 1996.

“The group has being going from strength to strength,” said Susan. “We think this has been a possible purse loss because they were so close together. We are elated about this, just so excited. Everybody in the group gets really excited when someone else finds something like this.

“We told the farmer and he was really pleased too.”

Graham, a forklift driver, 44, photographed all the coins and said the group has not estimated how much the hoard is worth. “I was in shock,” he said. “I was photographing individual coins and then people kept turning up with handfuls of coins.

“It is a feeling I have always dreamt about – whole hoards coming out – but to actually be there in amongst it was a great feeling.” For more information about Amber’s Digs, which has some 65 members, visit www.ambersdigs.co.uk

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