06 June 2019
When metal detectorist Tom Thomas found a Roman silver coin nearly thirty years ago, he thought it was nothing out of the ordinary, but it has recently been revealed that the coin is a Carausius Denarius thought to be worth around £10,000.
Mr Thomas, a 62-year-old retired policeman from Reading, Berkshire, said:
‘I didn’t know what it was as such. I knew it to be a Roman coin as I had found others in the past. I put it with my small collection and thought nothing more of it. I’ve been metal detecting for more than thirty years and I’ve found lots of different coins and other Roman artefacts.’
Fast forward to a family barbecue two years ago and Mr Thomas was set for the surprise of his life – his 2,000-year-old Carausius Denarius Roman coin was spotted by fellow metal detectorist Mark Becher. He thought it was unique and started consulting experts.
‘It turned out to be the only one of its kind in the world,’ said Mr Thomas. ‘But for that family barbecue and Mark spotting it, I may never have known. Mark contacted other experts, including the British Museum, and no-one had seen anything else like it before.’
The coin, which was dug up in a farmer’s field in Berkshire and dates back to AD 286-93, is now set to go into Hansons Auctioneers sale on 27 August with a guide price of £10,000.
The rare piece, which is registered with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), features Roman goddess Salus feeding a snake rising from an altar.
Mr Thomas added: ‘I was surprised and delighted when I heard how special the coin was. The only reason I’m selling it now is because it’s so unique and valuable it has to be locked away in a bank vault.’