Ancient coins discovered in Gwynedd and Anglesey declared treasure

THREE discoveries of coins, dating from the Roman to post-medieval periods, were declared treasure today (June 29) by the acting senior coroner for north west Wales.

A group of 19 Roman copper alloy coins (Treasure Case 19.04) was discovered by James Rowlands while metal detecting on a pasture field at Bryngwran, Anglesey, on January 13, 2019.

The coins were mostly minted between AD 260 and AD 274.

This was a period when Britain, Gaul and Spain had broken away from the rest of the Roman Empire to form an independent Gallic Empire.

The coin group contains two unofficial copies, known as barbarous radiates, which were likely made in c. AD 275-285.

They indicate that the coins were probably buried during this time.

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Oriel Môn hope to acquire the coin group for their collection, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

A medieval coin group comprising 26 silver coins (Treasure Case 20.10) was discovered by Levi Hussey and Chris Jones while metal detecting in a field in Anglesey in June 2020.

North Wales Chronicle: A medieval coin group comprising 26 silver coins (Treasure Case 20.10). Photo: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum WalesA medieval coin group comprising 26 silver coins (Treasure Case 20.10). Photo: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The find consists of 21 silver pennies and five silver halfpennies of Henry III of England (1216-1272) and Alexander III of Scotland (1249-1286).

The coins are types that were minted between AD 1247 and AD 1280 but these were probably lost as the contents of a purse around AD 1258-1279.

Scottish pennies were made to the same size and weight as English pennies and had similar designs.

As a result, they are found across Britain, including in hoards.

Ian Jones, building and collections manager at Oriel Môn, said: “Oriel Môn is excited to acquire these historically important finds for the museum collection.

“These ancient coins will help us learn more about Anglesey’s past.

“We look forward to developing positive links with the finders and landowners and are eager to work with them when we develop our plans to display and present these finds.”

Four silver coins of Elizabethan and Stuart dates (Treasure Case 20.14) were discovered by Ashley Hill while metal detecting on a pasture field at Llanbedr, Gwynedd, in October 2020.

North Wales Chronicle: Four silver coins of Elizabethan and Stuart dates (Treasure Case 20.14). Photo: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum WalesFour silver coins of Elizabethan and Stuart dates (Treasure Case 20.14). Photo: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Included in the find are a silver half Groat of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), two silver shillings and a silver sixpence, all of Charles I (1625-1649).

The coins show a high degree of wear, suggesting they were in circulation until the mid to late 17th century, probably being lost at this date as the contents of a purse, or perhaps deliberately buried as a very small savings hoard.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey