Roman coin hoard found in north Suffolk to be auctioned

A hoard of Roman coins found by two metal detectorists from the Waveney Valley area is to be auctioned.

The 197 coins were found by Norman Howard and John Halles in a field in north Suffolk over April and May 2009.

Known as the North Suffolk Hoard the Roman denarii date from between 2nd century BC to 1st century AD and may have belonged to a retired Roman soldier.

The coins are to be auctioned by London specialist coin auctioneers Morton & Eden on June 9 at Sotheby's and it is estimated the collection could lead to at least a �7,500 windfall for Mr Howard and Mr Halles and the farmer whose land the coins were found on.

In the collection is a rare denaruis from the reign of Caligula, who was Roman emperor from AD37 to AD41, which features him and his mother Agrippina Senior.

Morton & Eden estimate the coin could fetch up to �1,000.

Another denarius worth up to �800 is from the civil war of AD 68-69 and depicts the Emperor Otho, who briefly ruled Rome.

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Other coins feature Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Mark Antony, Augustus, Claudius and Nero.

In total 206 coins were found by Mr Howard and Mr Halles and the other nine coins have ben purchased by the British Museum.

Recalling the moment he found the first coin that led to hoard being discovered Mr Howard, 78, said: 'The detector bleeped a couple of times and I turned over some of the loose earth and the coin was just lying there.

'It was very interesting. You never know what you are going to find. Those coins had lain there all those thousands of years throughout history without being disturbed.'

At a treasure trove inquest Judith Plouviez, archaeological officer at Suffolk County Council, said the coins probably belonged to relatively well-to-do Roman, possibly a soldier.

The coins appear to have buried in a small pit and there was no evidence preserved of any type of container.