Trustees of the British Museum

A “miraculous” haul of gold coins dating from the late 15th century was discovered by a family digging in their garden.

The highlight of the hoard was a collection of four coins bearing the initials of the wives of Henry VIII—Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, according to the British Museum.

The 63 gold coins were found in the New Forest area of Hampshire by a family who wanted to remain anonymous.

The pandemic stay-at-home orders have led to a boost in finds from home gardens, including some very special and intriguing discoveries, like a Roman furniture fitting dating from nearly 2,000 years ago.

These treasures are among more than 47,000 finds that were registered this year with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)—with 6,251 discoveries reported during the first lockdown in the UK.

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John Naylor, from the Ashmolean Museum, told PA News the hoard was likely to have been hidden either by a wealthy merchant or clergy fearful of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in which he took control of many of the religious community’s assets.”

“Some monasteries and some churches did try to hide their wealth hoping that they would be able to keep it in the long term.”

Trustees of the British Museum

To all who are inspired now to dig, happy hunting!

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