Celtic Coins – what a hoard!

Two of the coin designs have never been seen by historians before!

The Celtic Hoard was found locally in 2018 by three metal detectorists who describe it as ‘the find of a lifetime.’ Following the required protocol, the coins were taken to the staff at the British Museum who cleaned and catalogued them. St Barbe jumped at the opportunity to purchase them and an appeal to the public, with the support of BBC Historian Dan Snow, was successful.

The coins look like jewellery, with their beautiful designs. This is more incredible if you consider they are Iron Age, before magnifying glasses were invented! They vary in size from smaller than the rubber on the end of a pencil to roughly the size of a one pence piece. Professor Tony King explains that the designs on the coins often relate to myths, one with a horse and sun depicts the belief that the horse carries the sun under the sea at sunset and emerges at sunrise bringing light to the day. Why were the coins buried? We suspect, along with other hoards of this period, that they were part of a ritual activity.

Obviously, the coins must be displayed in a specially made, secure case but what is less known is the other criteria for keeping the coins safe. Pins used for insect displays are holding the coins in place, these are specially enamelled to prevent corrosion. For the same reason special ink must be used to print the interpretation along side the coins. Everything must be carefully considered for the display, right down to fabric made without chemicals that could damage the hoard.

St Barbe looks forward to visitors coming to see the display but please don’t ask the actual location of the find – it’s top secret… for fear of everyone trying their luck on the private land!

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  1. Fascinating. I am away for several months but will look forward to seeing them on my return. Roughly where were they found?


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