Metal detectors are a great way to get out into nature and explore. They’re also useful for finding lost items that people have dropped or thrown away. But did you know that metal detectors have been used to find some pretty amazing ancient treasures as well? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most valuable metal detector finds in history and what makes them so special:
The Black Swan Project
The Black Swan Project is a metal detector find made in July of 2010 by a man named Brian Bush. The project was valued at $10 million and included coins, jewellery and gold. It was the most valuable metal detector find to date at the time.
Bush discovered the treasure while searching for sea shells with his family on Yallingup beach near Margaret River in Western Australia when he noticed some traces of gold in the sand. He dug deeper into the sand with his hands until he uncovered an old leather satchel containing more than 100 gold coins worth about $7 million alone. In total there were thousands of coins, hundreds of pieces of jewellery including rings and bracelets as well as diamond studs worn by women during colonial times (1788–1850).
The Bronze Statue of Hadrian
The bronze statue was found by a metal detectorist in 1959. It is thought that it was a Roman copy of a Greek original, although there is no evidence for this. The statue dates from around the 2nd Century AD and measures 1.7 metres high.
The statue depicts Hadrian dressed as Jupiter, carrying an eagle and thunderbolt in his left hand and holding out an olive branch with his right hand to bring peace to the world.
It has been on display at Peterborough Museum since it was found; however, it may soon need some restorative work due to corrosion caused by exposure to air pollution.
Hoxne Hoard Treasure
While metal detecting is an activity that many find fun and relaxing, it can also be a great way to make money. For example, one man in England found gold worth £3.3 million! This was the most valuable treasure ever found using a metal detector in Britain.
The Hoxne Hoard was discovered by a metal detectorist on November 16, 1992 in Suffolk County in East Anglia (England). It contained over 4000 gold objects including bracelets, necklaces and brooches along with some rare silver items such as belt mounts and buckles. It is thought that these items were buried sometime between 470 AD and 550 AD which makes them over 1000 years old! The discovery of this hoard meant that it became one of the most important archaeological finds ever made because it gave archaeologists an insight into Anglo Saxon culture at this time.
The Grouville Hoard
The Grouville Hoard is a collection of silver coins, rings and bracelets found near Grouville in the Channel Islands. The hoard was discovered in 1848 by a farmer who was digging to plant potatoes. The total weight of the objects found was 1,355 grams (3 lbs 7 oz), with all the individual items weighing between 80 grams (2¾ oz) and 590 grams (1 lb 6 oz).
The coins date from between AD 253 to 273 but only four have been positively identified as being struck during this period: an Antoninianus of Carausius; two Postumus Denarii and one Sestertius of Gallienus. There are also other more debatable examples which may or may not be related to this find including several coins bearing the name Numerian, who ruled between 286–293 AD; these have been dated anywhere between AD 284–289, however they could just as easily date from earlier times given how little we know about this period when it comes down to coinage production methods at that time!
The Rio Rancho Meteorite
The Rio Rancho Meteorite is the most valuable meteorite ever found and sold.
In 1961, a meteorite fell in New Mexico. After being discovered by an eight-year-old boy named Billy (no relation to me), it was classified as a pallasite. Pallasites are stony-iron meteorites that contain olivine crystals within them, making them very valuable because of their rarity. The Rio Rancho Meteorite weighs over 19 tons and is valued at $5.5 million—although you’d need to sell it all at once to get that kind of money!
The owner of the land where this meteorite landed has agreed not to sell his property until after he dies so he doesn’t have any competition for buyers interested in purchasing such an important item
The Aunslev Viking Crucifix
The Aunslev Viking Crucifix is a silver cross found in Denmark. It was made during the medieval period, around AD 1000.
The Aunslev Viking Crucifix is thought to have been a gift from a local lord to a monastery in southern Denmark. It’s made of silver and gold, with inscriptions on both sides of it that say “I am not worthy.” The cross also features two faces at its top; one bears an expression of pain while the other has an expression of joy.
The Staffordshire Hoard
The Staffordshire Hoard is a collection of objects found in Staffordshire, England. In 2009, a metal detectorist found the hoard and reported it to the British Museum. It contains over 1,500 items from the first Anglo-Saxon kingdom and includes many rare or unique pieces.
It’s worth noting that this wasn’t just a random person who found these objects; it was actually part of a larger project by the British Museum called Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). This program encourages people in England to report their finds and research any information about them through museums around England.
The Stirling Torcs
The Stirling Torcs are a set of seven Iron Age gold torcs that were unearthed in 1836 at Stirling Castle, Scotland. They are thought to have been buried with a wealthy woman who died around 100 BC. The torcs were discovered in an underground chamber within the castle and three more were found on the hillside nearby. The torcs are believed to be part of the rich finds from King Malcolm II’s reign (1005-1034) or possibly his son Edgar’s reign (1097-1107).
The iron age torc is an ancient symbol of status and prestige that was worn by Celtic kings, nobles and warriors as well as some women during this period.
The Leekfrith Torcs
A torc is a type of neck ornament that was worn in Europe and the British Isles. Torcs are made up of gold, copper and iron, and they’re believed to be from around the 5th century BC.
One unique feature of these torcs is they were buried with a woman who was over 40 years old. This means that she died when she was an older woman, which wasn’t common at the time (or now).
The Escrick Ring
The Escrick Ring is a gold ring found in Escrick, North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the most valuable items of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever discovered and was made around the year 725 AD.
The ring was found by metal detectorist Tony Marley on a farm near Scruton in 1990. He sold it to the British Museum for £3 million, who put it up for auction a few months later as part of their catalogue: Treasures from Royalty and Aristocracy. They expected that it would fetch somewhere between £200,000 – £300,000; but instead they got bids reaching £1 million before the hammer fell at £1.6 million – just under double what they were expecting!
WW2 Live Mortar Round
In August 2017, Tony Marlow was out metal detecting in a field in Staffordshire, UK when he found an inert mortar shell. “I picked it up not knowing what it was,” said Marlow. “My first thought was that it looked like something from the Second World War.”
Marwich called the police to remove the explosive from his field. A local bomb disposal unit examined and confirmed that it was indeed an unexploded WW2 live round. The police said that such finds are very rare these days and usually occur in rivers or lakes where there is less chance of them being disturbed by people or animals moving through them over time.”
Santa Margarita Gold Chalice
The Santa Margarita Gold Chalice is a Roman cup made of gold that was found in a field in Leicestershire, England. It is thought to have been made between 350 and 400 AD. The Chalice was part of a hoard that also included other precious objects such as a silver spoon and gilded bronze fittings for the handle, lid and foot. The significance of this find cannot be overstated; it is one of the most important finds in British history.
Ringlemere Gold Cup
The Ringlemere Cup is the oldest known ceremonial drinking vessel in the world. The artifact dates back to 2200 BC and was found in Ringlemere, Kent, England. It’s made of solid gold and believed to be a religious offering to the gods.
The cup has a handle in the shape of an animal head on one side with eyes made out of blue stones, which are thought to represent lapis lazuli from Afghanistan or distant Egypt (as both were famous for their use of lapis). The other side depicts three animals: two lions standing face-to-face and an elephant between them facing rightward with its trunk curled up at its mouth like someone blowing smoke rings!
Crosby Garret Helmet
- Year of Discovery: 2016
- Location of Discovery: Crosby Garrett, England
- Estimated Value: $1.5 million – $2 million
This helmet was discovered by a metal detector and immediately recognized as the Crosby Garrett Helmet, an Anglo-Saxon artifact dating back to the 7th century AD. It’s one of only five surviving examples of this type of helmet and is one of the finest examples ever found in Britain.
The Hand of Faith
A man in Florida found the Hand of Faith, an ancient artifact made of pure gold and studded with diamonds, while metal detecting in a swampy area. He sold it to a private collector for $2.2 million in 2007.
The size of this item is 2 inches long by 1 inch wide and weighs 1 pound (0.5 kilograms). The value of this item is estimated around $2 million to $3 million dollars!
The Boot of Cortez
The Boot of Cortez is one of the most valuable metal detector finds in history—it weighs 1,800 ounces and was found by a prospector in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California in 1857. When it was sold for $15,000 dollars, it was considered to be worth more than all other gold nuggets found at that point combined. Today this piece of history resides at the Smithsonian Institute.
The Mojave Nugget
The Mojave Nugget. This nugget was discovered by John Freelove on his property in California in 1869. At 4.5 pounds, it is valued at approximately $40 million USD, though its true value remains unknown due to the fact that it may be part of a larger nugget that has not yet been found.
The most valuable metal detector finds in history are worth millions of dollars. Some of them have been found by professional treasure hunters and archaeologists, while others have been discovered by ordinary people who were simply out for a day at the beach or walking along an old path.