Nine Roman coins found in Norfolk declared as treasure

A hoard of six gold aurei of Augustus.

A hoard of six gold aurei of Augustus. - Credit: Norfolk County Council/Portable Antiquities Scheme

The discovery of nine Roman coins found in Norfolk has been declared as treasure. 

Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, opened the treasure inquest into the find at Norfolk Coroner's Court earlier this month.  

Six gold aurei of Augustus were found by Damon and Denise Pye on land near Norwich, in June 2017, using a metal detector. 

A report from the British Museum said: “Single finds of Roman gold coins are rare in Britain, and the occurrence of six examples within a very small radius indicates that they form a discrete group and were deposited together. 

“The grid references given correspond with the position of a circular cropmark and slight earthwork suggested as a possible Bronze Age barrow. The location may have been selected due to the visibility of the barrow as a landmark. 


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“The coins were struck 2 BC to AD 4. The date of deposition could be later in the first century AD, but it is interesting to see that gold issues of Tiberius from Lyon are absent.

“The lack of any coins of Tiberius implies that this hoard was assembled in the early 1st century AD, probably in the first two decades of the century, in the late Iron Age, and well before the Roman Invasion of AD43.” 

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Mrs Blake opened the inquest into a further two coins, aurei of Augustus, also discovered by the Pyes, in August, 2019.

Two aurei of Augustus were found in the same area as six other coins recovered near Norwich.

Two aurei of Augustus were  found in the same area as six other coins recovered near Norwich. - Credit: Norfolk County Council/Portable Antiquities Scheme

Two aurei of Augustus were  found in the same area as six other coins recovered near Norwich.

Norfolk County Council/Portable Antiquities Scheme - Credit: Norfolk County Council/Portable Antiquities Scheme

In a report from the British Museum it stated: “The lack of any coins of Tiberius implies that this hoard was assembled in the early 1st century AD, probably in the first two decades of the century, in the late Iron Age, and well before the Roman Invasion of AD43.” 

An inquest was also opened into the find of a single coin, a Roman gold aureus, found on January 5 2020, by the Pyes.

A British Museum report  described the coin as a Roman gold aureus of Augustus dating to the period 2 BC to AD 4.

One Roman gold aureus, addendum to a hoard now numbering nine coins.

One Roman gold aureus, addendum to a hoard now numbering nine coins. - Credit: Norfolk County Council/Portable Antiquities Scheme

This case covered six aurei, with two further batches containing a further three coins, making a total of nine aurei in this hoard. 

Groups of two or more coins of precious metal and over 300 years old at the time of finding qualify as potential Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996. 

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