Two views of a Henry VIII-era gold merchant’s ring, £36,000 at TimeLine.

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This has both encouraged detectorists in their hobby and led to increasing amounts of fully declared material appearing at auction.

The numismatic world enjoyed many discoveries, from a silver penny of Edward the Martyr c.975-978 (£9000 at Dix Noonan Webb in April) to a Sego-Tascio ‘warrior’ stater (£15,500 at Iron Age coin specialist Chris Rudd in May).

Rudd’s sale in November included the first known coin of Caratacus unearthed in 2019 in a Berkshire field. Described as ‘the most important single Iron Age coin ever found in this country’, it sold in a timed online auction at £71,000.


The Caratacus Warrior stater – actual size 16mm – sold for £71,000 at Chris Rudd.

Other historic ‘dug’ items sold this year include an early 17th century silver vervel from a hawk owned by ‘Kyng James’ (£18,500) and a Tudor gold merchant’s ring found close to the site of Bridlington Priory (£36,000). Both were offered at TimeLine Auctions.

Looking ahead, a planned change to the 1996 Treasure Act may mean that objects made of any material, rather than just gold or silver, may be classified as ‘treasure’.