Metal Detectorist Protects £100k of Rare Coins for Three Days

Author: Adam Hopkin - Numismatic Editor

Published: 4 Aug 2020

Last Updated: 2 Feb 2023


One lucky metal detectorist spent two nights protecting his haul of old hammered coins thought to date back to the English civil war, all after a trip to the local pub. 

Metal detector generic

Rare Silver Hammered Coins Discovered In Suffolk

Luke Mahoney, a 40-year-old father of three, has travelled the world over the last decade in search of precious metals lurking just below his feet, however the biggest find of his detecting career would be closer to home than he realised.   

During a visit to his regular public house in Lindsey, Suffolk, the metal detector store owner and his two friends began pacing the 15-acre field behind the watering hole after bending the ear of the barkeep and landlord Charlie Buckle.  

As Luke explains, after starting to comb the area at around 10am the trio unearthed a “beautiful gold coin and a little sixpence”, before grabbing some lunch.

“We went back out to the fields and almost immediately I hit this signal and I pulled out this Charles I coin.” Luke continues, “then I hit another signal, and another!” 

Sensing a more sizeable find Luke “hit a massive signal” after 10 minutes of searching, with his persistence being rewarded with 1,078 silver, hammered coins dating as far back as the 15th century, a find that would fetch at least £100,000 at auction. 

“We dug and saw the spot. That feeling of scraping the dirt away and seeing the coins is indescribable.” Wanting to protect their landmark find, the three friends stayed up for two nights, ensuring rival detectorists, known as nighthawks, didn’t try and steal their find.  

“I was up for three days solid”, Luke added, “I waited in my car watching all night making sure no-one tried to sneak in and take the hoard.”  

Explaining his initial skepticism over the significance of the find, Charlie admitted that “Luke gets quite excited about everything he finds... he kept ringing and told me I had to come down and see what he had found”.   

Immediately declaring his find to the liaison officer and coroner, Luke hopes that others will go onto enjoy his discovery and shared his wishes for the silver coins to be hosted in a local museum whilst urging others to take up metal detecting as a new pastime.  

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