A metal detectorist from Whitehaven, Cumbria, found a 4000-year-old Bronze Age gold necklace in an open field.
54-year-old Billy Vaughan was stunned and really happy after he realized he found a 22-carat gold band in a remote field near his house.
Billy found the gold necklace 5 inches below the surface.
Initially, Vaughan thought it was a piece of climbing equipment and decided to send a picture of it to his friend, who is also a detectorist.
His friend identified the object as a torc.
Billy went to a jeweler, who said it is pure gold and the worth of it is around £11,000.
That’s the price of the gold alone, if the historical significance of the gold necklace is identified, its price can go to the roof.
Talking about his hobby, Billy said, “I’d only been detecting six months and I was out by myself on a field I must have been in dozens of times before, spending seven or eight hours going through it. This time I got a strong signal so I dug down five inches and saw it. My first reaction was it was a piece of climbing equipment, or perhaps coupling from a tractor.”
He added, “I never thought it could be gold. I carried on detecting for an hour and a half before I called my friend and sent him a picture of it. He said I must come around with it right away so I hopped in my car and drove to his house with it. He was very excited about the find and told me to take it to a jeweler’s, who confirmed it was 11oz of 22-carat gold.”
He continued, “He said it had a value in gold of £11,000, but it was worth a lot more because of its age and what it was. I was stunned and gobsmacked. I still can’t believe it.”
Under the Treasure Act 1996, Billy is the rightful owner of the gold that he found.
This means he could sell the necklace to a museum at a price that is set by the Treasure Valuation Committee.
Billy said, “I try not to get ahead of myself and think about the money until you get it, but it will make a difference. To think I was the first person to hold that torc in who knows how many years is quite something.”
That’s one lucky found!