My first coin treasure

Long ago, long before the birth of bitcoin, metal detectors and shovels were used to mine coins. :)

This story happened to me in spring of 2008.

After a year of lasting systematic search I got a bit disappointed and turned sceptical about my luck to find something seriously valuable.

Sure enough I found some simple troves from time to time which gave me a hope and a portion of positive for further trove search, however, I did not discovered any seriously valuable treasures till that time.

The spring season of 2008 was of extreme disappointment for me as none of serious troves were found at all. I spent a major part of the budget on fuel only and one evening, after the next trip failed I made a decision to put my trove search on hold and to have some rest, to gain some vital energy for further search and to explore new interesting places.

However, it was not to be!

In the morning when I did not plan any rambling with metal detector in the area I suddenly heard a phone rang. It was Roman, my mate from another town. He planned to visit his parents back home who lived in 40km from my home. He was free for three days and the first day he decided to spend for treasure search and he invited me to join him.

I am not still sure why I excepted his proposal that day as only a previous evening I was grimly determined to pause my search for a month at least.

Anyway, I was ready in half an hour and left my house.

We had not seen each other for more than a year. Roman and me chatted a bit about life and he told me that his friend pointed him a place in the wood where to his mind a little settlement existed over 200 years ago. This settlement was mentioned in some sources of literature.

We immediately decided to get there. Actually I did not make any suggestions or proposals, I did only agree half-heartedly. And we started out.

On the way we picked up the man who directed us to this mysterious lost settlement in the wood. The guy treated us with tasty pies baked by his grandma, and we continued our way.

However we were never to get to a desired place. Having passed only 1km Roman sensed that one of the tires got deflated. We stopped on the country crossroad. He went round the car and checked all the tires. Then he got back into the car, however instead of continuing our way he offered to take our metal detectors and to check an abandoned garden, located in 10 meters from our stop.

In response to his offer I replied that if he would managed to find any coin there, then I would join him with my metal detector too.

I nestled on a leg in several meters from our car, lit a cigarette and enjoyed a pleasant summer morning in the village and watched Roman who had already tuned his detector and listened to the signals of the coil.

To my surprise his first dug trove was a Boratinka — one of the most popular copper coins found in our region. The Boratinka is a copper solid of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, coined during 1659-1668 period in the mints of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

The coin is named Boratinka in honour of the person who coined it. In the year of 1658 an Italian scientist Tito Livio Borattini (Burattini) leased a state mint and coined millions of Boratinkas for over a decade.

Laughing at the fact that Roman found his first trove sooner than I finished smoking a cigarette I went to the car and took my detector.

Hardly had I switched on my detector as I heard Roman’s voice again who found another coin in few steps from his first trove. This time it was a silver orth of the times of Sigismund III (Zygmunt III).

«Ort (Orta, Ortur) is a quarter, this term is still used in numismatics — a silver and then a billion coin in Germany and in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth of XVI — XVIII centuries.» It was first coined in Germany in the XVI century as a silver coin equalled to ¼ of the thaler (Ortstaler).

These troves tuned us for greater discoveries as it became clear that these coins were not the last here.

We continued the search. Roman and his mate checked one part of the garden, I checked another part of the garden. Having wandered for about 15 minutes I decided to turn back to the place of the first trove, though it had been checked thoroughly by my friends.

To my surprise I got a clear colour signal between two holes. I could not believe my luck as this spot had been checked by professional coin diggers using Tesoro detectors a moment ago (unfortunately I forgot what models exactly they had). I used Garrett 150. I considered it to be my amulet as it had discovered a major part of my troves.

Having clarified the signal I made a square with a shovel however I did not dig a forth line due to my laziness.

Trying to pick up a ball of earth I failed as it slipped out of my hands and fell in the hole again, however this moment was enough for me to notice something shining under the ball.

Putting the detector and the shovel aside I took the ball and put my hand into the hole…

It is impossible to communicate to you what I felt at this moment when my hand touched a rouleau of coins!

I could not believe my feelings and picked the ball of earth out of the hole to finally see this pile of huge silver coins:)) These were Thalers, Florins and Ardennes.

The coins were almost on the surface covered with only 15cm of earth. Later on and digging deeper I discovered several Orts again, these were small coins of the same period.

It is hard to put into words my state at that moment. Adrenaline ran high when I picked up those coins from the earth especially in such quantity.

Unfortunately this trove could hardly be a real treasure however it was my Little Trove!

I managed to find 23 coins in total. All of them were coined in the XVII century. More likely it was someone’s purse, lost many centuries ago.

My trove was estimated at 3000$.

Unfortunately I have lost most of the pictures of the treasure. However you can find some photos of the coins of the trove added here.

This post was published on a personal blog. If you don't specify a blog category when publishing a post, it will be published to your personal blog by default.


As a kid I grew up with a metal detector. Most of the time I would only find aluminum cans, nails, scrap metal, etc. One time I found a US Penny from the early 1900's and I still remember how excited I was.

This was cool to read, thanks for sharing!
I bought my first metal detector in 2003, and I also started with corks, aluminum foil and wire)

Yes, the thrill of the finds is hard to describe, especially if they are coins of the Roman Empire.