Sunderland man who 'enjoys finding lost things' discovers ancient Roman coin while metal detecting

A Sunderland man found a Roman coin dated to be almost 2,000 years old while he was metal detecting at an old farm.

Stephen with the metal detector that he made the discovery with while out at an old farm on Follingsby Lane.
Stephen with the metal detector that he made the discovery with while out at an old farm on Follingsby Lane.

The discovery was made by Stephen Smith, 33, who says his love for “searching for lost things” helped launch his hobby of metal detecting.

The coin, which was inspected by Andrew Agate from the Hancock Museum in Newcastle and found on Follingsby Lane, said the coin is from the Vespasian era and was minted around 69 AD.

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It’s almost 2,000 years old.

The coin was described as a 'good example' - the outline of Emperor Vespasian can still be seen.

Stephen told the Echo: “I met Andrew while I was at work, I told him what I found and he said he could authenticate it for me.

“It turns out that the coin is a good example and because of that, it has been logged with the Portable Antiquities Scheme.”

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Latin markings can be made out on the coin and the outline of Emperor Vespasian himself is still intact.

Stephen continued: “I usually tend to find Victorian coins, old belt buckles and the odd gold ring that someone may have lost but never anything like this.

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Andrew Agate from the Hancock Museum authenticated the coin - dating it to be from around 69 A.D

“I really enjoy Roman history so it was nice to find something so old relating to the area.

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The coin may have been the oldest thing that Stephen has found, but it’s certainly not the most surprising.

He added: “I once found an old gun and some lead bullets, that’s definitely the strangest thing that I have found.”