“I thought I was digging up a jar of jam.”

In Hoogwoud, in the North of the Netherlands, a man with a simple metal detector has found in (semi-amateur) a valuable hoard of millennial gold and silver.

They are medieval jewels and old coins. The discovery was made in 2021, but it was announced in the last hours by that country’s National Museum of Antiquities, which described the treasure as “very rare”.

I found a treasure in the Netherlands

The find consisted of four golden pendants decorated in the shape of a crescent moon, as well as two pieces of gold leaf that fit together and 39 small silver coins. The jewelry probably dates back to the 11th century and is therefore about ten centuries old.

The coins are two centuries younger than the 13th century.

The National Museum of Antiquities, where the treasure is on display, believes the jewelry and coins were buried together.

Unique treasure discovered in 2021 by Lorenzo Reuter, 27 years old, with a simple metal detector. He himself has studied history and often does research with his reagent.

Reuter himself doubts that his historical knowledge of West Friesland, the Dutch region in which he was discovered, led him to the right place.

“I think it’s a combination of serendipity, instinct and research,” he told NH Nieuws.

“I thought it was a box of jam.”

“It was the end of the day, I was already tired and I wanted to go home. Then the detector went off, I dug it up, and after that I had some gold in my hands,” he recalls the day he found the treasure.

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“At first I thought it was a piece of jam jar. Then I cleaned it and saw all kinds of inscriptions. At that moment I shuddered with adrenaline. I lifted this thing with trembling hands,” said Reuter.

“This discovery is not only important for Högood, but has national and even international significance,” said curator Annemarie Willemsen of the National Museum of Archeology. “It is very rare to find jewelry from this era.”

39 silver coins were found. Photo: Reuters

The gem is textured on one side and has fragile mountings.

“In pictures from that time, you can see that these types of crescent earrings were worn by ladies in their ears, probably hanging from a headband,” said Willemsen.

On the exact place where the discovery was made, Reuter did not want to say anything.

According to him, he has an ugly memory of when it was announced that a Nazi treasure had been discovered in the Omren region some time ago, and how the place was filled with unlicensed treasure hunters who flooded the place.

That was a disaster. I’d rather not see that in Hoogwoud,” he justified himself.

A thousand-year-old treasure has been found in Hoogwoud, north of Amsterdam, by a local historian. Photo: Reuters

Freddie Dawson

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