It was on the 6th of January 2023 that Rob Turrell, and his friend Jono had planned a days detecting on one of their regular pasture fields near Diss in Norfolk. Over the last two years they had found a mix of Celtic and early Roman artefacts and Rob sensed that something exciting was going to happen that day. He discovered a rare gold aureus which will be offered at Noonans
Mayfair on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in a sale of Ancient Coins and Antiquities with an estimate of £4,000-5,000.
As Rob, who lives not far from the field, explained: It was around 4pm after Jono had left that I decided to stop going methodically up and down the field and change direction and go across the field and finish for the day. Suddenly beside the main road at the edge of the field I got a positive signal on my Garrett AT pro metal detector and down about 10 inches I saw a gold coin in a clump of soil. Not surprisingly, I was dumbstruck and sat there looking at it for the next 45 minutes unable to move as I realised, I had achieved my dream of finding a Roman gold aureus!
He continued: I sent a message to my girlfriend telling her what I had found, and she promptly drove over with a cold beer to congratulate me!
Nigel Mills, Specialist (Coins and Artefacts) at Noonans explained: The coin is an aureus weighing 7.70 grams of pure gold, struck by the emperor Claudius in AD 41-2 with the portrait and name of his father Nero Claudius Drusus, a highly respected general and consul. The reverse shows a triumphal arch surmounted with an equestrian statue of Drusus with DE GERMANIS across the architrave. This records his celebrated campaigns subjugating the Germanic tribes in 12-9 BC. He was in fact renowned within the Roman army for defeating many of the Celtic chiefs in single combat before his untimely death in 9 BC after a riding accident.
He also explained The aureus would have been a months pay for a Roman soldier and is likely to have been lost shortly after Claudius invaded in AD 43.
Rob, who is 38 has been detecting for 10 years and manages 67 hives of Bees for the surrounding estates in the summer, while working heavy machinery in the winter. He will share the proceeds from the sale with the landowner.