London: A pair of amateur metal detectors have unearthed what experts believe is the biggest known hoard of Iron Age coins that could worth over 10 million pounds.
The coins belonging to the first century BC have been found buried three feet deep under a hedge in a farmer`s field on Jersey, one of the British Channel islands.
They were believed to have been buried by a tribe to protect them from Roman general Julius Ceasar, experts said.
Each one of the 30,000?50,000 coins is estimated to be worth around 200 pounds each, putting the value of the haul at up to 10 million pounds, they said.
It`s said that some two thousand years ago, Jersey, which remains a popular spot to stash large sums of money, was a refuge for tribes fleeing what is now northern France from the invading Roman armies.
As the legions of Julius Ceasar drew closer, the treasure is thought to have been buried by a Celtic tribe called the Coriosolitae, in the hope it could be dug up once the danger had passed.
But the coins, packed in clay and weighing a ton, have remained undisturbed until last week, the Daily Mail reported.
The pair who found the coins, Reg Mead and Richard Miles, first suspected treasure was in the area 30 years ago after hearing rumours that a farmer had found some silver pieces on his land. After a series of largely unsuccessful forays in the area, they unearthed a stash of 120 coins in February.
The pair used a powerful metal detector known as a deepseeker to search for more treasure in the field and struck lucky last week.
"The machine picked up a really strong signal -- so we immediately got in touch with professional archaeologists," Mead said. "They started digging and we could not believe how many coins there were."
"All of them were stuck together. I have been searching for things like this since 1959 and never found anything on this scale before. We had been searching that land for 30 years," he explained.
After four days of careful digging the hoard was hauled to the surface by crane. It will now be subject of an inquest to determine ownership rights.
Neil Mahrer of Jersey Heritage Museum, who helped to excavate the money, said: "This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting."
The previous record find was in 1935 at La Marquanderie in Jersey when more than 11,000 were discovered.