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Rare gold coin unearthed in the UK

Close up of the front and back of the coin. Courtesy: Vindolanda Trust

Close up of the front and back of the coin. Courtesy: Vindolanda Trust


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 5:43 PM - A rare Roman gold coin has been unearthed by archaeologists at the Roman site of Vindolanda in the UK.

Romans occupied the site for some 300 years, leaving an array of artifacts behind.

While thousands of coins have been discovered at the old fort, this is the first time a gold coin has been unearthed.


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"I thought, it can’t be true, it was just sitting there as I scrapped back the soil, shining, as if someone had just dropped it," says volunteer Marcel Albert, who has been taking part in archaeological digs at Vindolanda since 2008.

The coin dates back to AD 64-65 and has been identified as an aureus.

The currency would have equated to more than six months' salary for a solider and had been in circulation for more than 300 years before settling into the ground at Vindolanda.


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"My first find at Vindolanda nearly 20 years ago was a coin, but because of their scarcity I didn’t think for a moment that I would ever see a gold coin unearthed at the site; it was an absolutely magical moment for the whole team," Justin Blake, Deputy Director of Excavations said in a statement.

"You actually have more chance of winning the lottery than finding a gold coin on a Roman military site so this is a special and very likely one - off find," Director of Excavations Dr. Andrew Birley added.

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