UPDATED: Jobless man set to waive his £1million hoard reward?

Paul Coleman found the coins on an annual Christmas dig on December 21
Paul Coleman found the coins on an annual Christmas dig on December 21

The jobless man who discovered a £1 million hoard of Anglo Saxon coins could hand over the hoard without a penny in return.

Detectorist Paul Coleman, 59, stumbled upon 5,251 perfectly-preserved coins, buried two feet underground on farmland close to Lenborough.

Experts said the extremely rare coins, which showed the faces of Anglo Saxon kings, could be worth more than £1 million.

Sources say jobless Mr Coleman is looking forward to the windfall and plans to share the profits with fellow detectorists from the Weekend Wanderers club.

But perhaps as a hint to Mr Coleman, culture minister Ed Vaizey thanked previous finders for turning down rewards in the past – as part of a British Museum press briefing about the find.

Mr Vaizey said: “I’d especially like to thank the finders and landowners who have graciously waived their right to a reward so that local museums can acquire treasure.

“It is an initiative that the government has been keen to support and it demonstrates that metal detectorists have a genuine interest in the past, and are not just interested in archaeology for personal gain.”

The coins are being showcased at the British Museum this morning with curator, Gareth Williams, discussing his research into the hoard but the eventual resting place of the coins is yet to be decided.

Chair of Buckinghamshire County Museum Trustees, Bob Sutcliffe, said: “We’re awaiting the official declaration of treasure and final valuation, before we decide if we are going to try and acquire this hoard.

“Fundraising for such an important find would be a major project for our recently formed Bucks County Museum Trust, but it will give us the chance to try and involve the public on a new scale, and get them really excited about their heritage.”