Back in the day, banks and secure vaults didn’t exist. The only way to keep your money safe is to bury it. This method has flaws. The owner could forget the location of his life savings or he passed away before telling anybody about it. Hundreds of these hoards are being discovered each year in the UK. Some of them are special. They are made entirely or mostly from precious metals. In this article, I will share with you a list of three of the largest silver hoards discovered in the UK.
Chew Valley Hoard
This hoard consists of 2,528 silver coins. They were discovered last year (2019) in Chew Valley, northeast Somerset by a group of detectorists.
The collection was carefully examined by the British Museum. They said it is the second-largest Norman hoard discovered so far. The silver coins are 1000 years old. Around half of the coins depict King Harold II; the rest depict William the Conqueror. They were minted after the battle of Hastings in 1066 between these two kings.
These silver coins were declared a treasure. According to the Treasure Act, this means that a museum can buy it. Its value will be split between the finders and the landowner. Experts believe that they are worth £ 5 million.
This is one of the largest hoards ever discovered in the UK. It contains 14,000 precious items made from gold, silver, and bronze.
Silver artifacts weigh 52.4 pounds in total. Whereas gold relics weigh 7.7 pounds. They are worth nearly £3 million.
The British Museum needed the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, and the J. Paul Getty Trust to acquire this collection.
One of the most notable silver items in this hoard is the silver tigress. It weighs 480 grams and it measures 6.3 inches from head to tail. It wasn’t made to be a stand-alone item. It was designed to be the handle of some sort of container.
The collection also includes 98 silver spoons and ladles. The spoons have a sharp end to pierce eggs or to be used as a fork. Some of them are decorated with sea creatures.
More than 14,000 silver coins were also discovered. They were minted during the reigns of Constantine II (337–340) and Honorius. The treasure also contains 4 silver bowls, a small dish, and one silver vase.
All of these items were discovered in 1992 when a farmer and his friend were looking for a lost hammer using a handheld metal sensor. But they ended up discovering a wooden treasure chest. It is funny to know that the rusty hammer was found, and it is also displayed next to these precious items at the museum.
This is a Viking treasure that was discovered in September 2014 in Scotland. It consists of many gold and silver artifacts such as armbands, cross, jewelry, ingots… The item that stands out is the pot where the treasure was placed. It a huge silver container. It is actually the largest silver pot that was made during the Carolingian dynasty.
This treasure was buried 2 feet underground for 1000 years until it was discovered by the metal detecting enthusiast Derek McLennan. He reported his find to the authorities, and a group of archeologists took care of it from there.
The local museum has to buy this collection for £2 million. In England, according to the Treasure Act, the founder has to split the money with the landowner. This is not the case in Scotland. Derek will get all of the money.