Four thousand year old Bronze Age gold necklace worth at least £ 11,000 found in Cumbria

A metal detector celebrates the find of its life after discovering a magnificent 4000-year-old gold torc valued at tens of thousands of pounds.

Billy Vaughan, 54, was stunned when he unearthed the sparkling 22-karat gold strip in a remote field near his hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria.

The twisted Bronze Age gem was tucked 5 inches below the surface.

Mr. Vaughan initially thought it was climbing gear and it wasn’t until he sent a photo of it to a fellow detectorist that he identified it as a torc.

Billy Vaughan, 54, had only been detecting six months when he made the surprising discovery in a remote field near his hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria

He also showed it to a jeweler who said its 11-ounce weight of pure gold alone had a market value of £ 11,000.

With the added historical significance, the torc is estimated to be worth considerably higher than this sum.

He said: “I had only detected six months and I was alone on a ground I must have been in dozens of times before, spending seven or eight hours walking it.

The find next to 20 pence for the scale

The discovery as it was found

Mr. Vaughan, a social worker, has alerted his local museum and the coroner who will decide if the find is a “treasure.” The find as found (right) and next to 20 pence for the scale (left)

“This time I got a strong signal so I dug five inches and saw it. My first reaction was that it was climbing gear, or maybe a hitch from a tractor.

“I never thought it could be gold.

WHAT IS THE TREASURE?

Under the 1996 Treasure Act, potential treasure seekers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to notify their local coroner

An investigation then determines whether the finds constitute treasure.

If the find is declared a treasure, the discoverer must offer it for sale to a museum at a price set by the British Museum’s Treasure Valuation Committee.

A reward is then offered to researchers and other interested parties.

“I kept scouting for an hour and a half before calling my friend and sending him a photo.

“He said I had to come up with this right away, so I jumped in my car and drove to his house with it.

“He was very excited by the find and told me to take it to a jeweler, who confirmed it was 11 ounces of 22 karat gold.

“He said he was worth £ 11,000 in gold but was worth a lot more because of his age and what it was.

“I was stunned and stunned. I still can’t believe it.

Mr. Vaughan, a social worker, alerted his local museum and the coroner who will decide whether the find is a “treasure” under the Treasure Act (1996).

In this case, he would be legally obliged to offer it for sale to a museum at a price set by the Treasury Evaluation Committee.

The surprising discovery was made in a remote field near his hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria

The surprising discovery was made in a remote field near his hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria

Mr Vaughan said: “I try not to step forward and think about the money until you get it, but it will make a difference.”

“Thinking that I was the first person to hold this torc for who knows how many years is something.”

Gold torcs were worn as jewelry around the neck or wrist to display wealth and status, often offered to loved ones.

Another example discovered in Norfolk two years ago was bought for £ 23,000 by a local museum.

Surprisingly, the solid gold torc was as cool as the day it was buried - around 4000 years ago.

Surprisingly, the solid gold torc was as cool as the day it was buried – around 4000 years ago.

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