Beginner Detectorist Finds Gold Roman Coins Worth £100,000

Who believes in beginners luck? This guy most definitely does! This beginner detectorist finds gold Roman coins 20 minutes after he bought a metal detector!


Wesley Carrington a 34 year old car salesman set out on his day to purchase a metal detector, he went down to the local shop and bought the cheapest metal beginners metal detector the Garrett Ace 150. He went straight to the local woods to test his new toy out.Wesley Carrington Finds Gold Roman Coins

Straight away he found a spoon and a half penny, but then the machine started making a loud tone sound to let him know there was some metal way beneath the ground.

He dug down around seven inches, and it was there that he found his first “solidi” gold coin, which dated back more than 1600 years. He continued to dig and found a further 54!

Solidi gold coins are 22 carat gold, struck in Milan (capital of the Western Empire from 286 A.D. to 402 A.D) and Ravenna (capital of the Western Empire from 402 A.D. until the fall in 476 A.D.) in the late 4th century.

He joked with reporters that he may have “peaked early” in his metal detecting career.

Experts later returned to the site where he found the 55 gold coins, where they discovered another 104! They described the hoard of coins as nothing more than “spectacular” and explained it was a find of “national significance” The experts exclaimed they was truly stunned.

Later there was an official inquest which was held to determine as to whether the hoard were classed as treasure trove

Coroner Edward Thomas from Hertfordshire made the decision that they were to be classed as treasure trove and the “solidi” gold coins were to be sent to the British Museum for a professional valuation to be made, before they go up for auction.

Wesley Carrington would have to split any proceeds with the landowner where the amazing discovery was made. He revealed he learnt his metal detecting techniques through

He told the inquest that was held in Hatfield “I’ve never been metal detecting before. I just decided to give it a go”

He stated he bought the least expensive metal detector he could find and then headed to the local woodland that was located near St Albans, Hertfordshire.

He said “About 20 minutes into metal detecting, the machine beeped so I dug a hole”

“I dug up a bit of the ground and started to break it up, a technique I had seen on YouTube, I saw a coin that was gold in colour, with a Roman Portrait on it. I knew instantly what it was but I did not realize just how significant it was.

He then found two of the gold coins together, and continued to search finding a total of 55.

“When they all started to come out of the ground, everything sort of merged into a blur” he said

‘Wesley discovered a hoard of sold gold Solidi that dated back nearly 1700 years to the fall of the Roman Empire.

 David Sewell the shop owner of “Hidden History” where Wesley purchased the Garrett Ace 150 was gobsmacked.
Wesley Carrington only stopped his search that day because it was getting dark.
A few days later he returned to the “Hidden History” shopHe told reporters David Sewell and his business partner Mark Becher were both “gobsmacked” when he showed them the gold coins he had found, he asked them for advice as to what he should do with them.Their advice was to contact the Local Councils museum service, after doing so Wesley, the shop owners, a local volunteer, both museum and archaeology staff went back to the site with an excavator and continued to search where they found a further 104 coins.
Upon examining the gold coins, it was revealed that they spanned over the reigns of five to six Roman Emperors, from Honorius to Gratian, the coins had all been minted across different parts of Europe. Italy, Germany, Turkey, Greece and France.The finds liaison officer for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, Julian Watters said “I have been in the job for 10 years and I would say it is most certainly the most spectacular discovery” “I couldn’t possibly tell you what the actual odds are of this happening, but to put it into context, I have only ever previously seen 4 Roman Gold coins in 50,000 finds”

In a true beginners luck story Mr Carrington has said he has joined a metal detecting club since and has been out with his detector again but not found anything!

So the moral of the story here? It does happen, It can happen, and it could happen to you. You have just as much chance as anyone right? We all can dream. I’m personally happy if I find a coin older than 20 years! Keep chasing that dream detectorist’s you just never know.

Read more about Solidi Gold Coins

I’m one of the founders of this blog. A 32 yr old from Lincolnshire & proud father of 3 beautiful children. My first metal detector was a garret ace 150 but I am currently using the Garrett ace 400i. My best find was a roman coin. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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