A team of metal detectorists discovered a treasure hoard of American and Russian gold coins in a Polish forest recently.
The detectorists from the Szczecin Search Group Association were conducting a survey to find relics from WW2, in particular, traces of the Battle of Szczec, fought between the Soviet Red Army and the Wehrmacht.
They have found 70 coins deposited in a heavily corroded metal can buried at a depth of approximately 15 to 20 cm’s. The total discovery has been estimated to be worth 100,000 zloty, which is over 24,000 US dollars based on current conversion rates.
A preliminary study of the coins has already identified a Liberty Head double eagle, also known as a Coronet double eagle, which is an American twenty-dollar gold piece designed by Mint of the United States Chief Engraver, James B. Longacre. The coin has the motto “In God We Trust”, which is a Type III that circulated between 1877 to 1907.
Also identified are ten-dollar Indian Head eagle gold coins dated to 1912, which were designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and circulated between 1907 to 1933.
Łukasz Istelski from the Szczecin Search Group Association, said: “This is a dream come true for every detectorist. It is not only a material treasure but above all a great discovery.”
Gold coins related to WW2 activity
Istelski noted that the coins could have been related to war activities and deposited for safety, but their origin is truly a mystery.
Prior to the outbreak of WW2, the Wehrmacht made Stettin the headquarters for Wehrkreis II, which controlled the military units in all of Mecklenburg and Pomerania. At that time, less than 1% of the city inhabitants were Polish, who became marginalized and persecuted by the rising Nazi regime.
In 1944, Allied air raids and intense battles between the Wehrmacht and Soviet forces resulted in the devastation of 65% of Stettin’s structures, including the near-total destruction of the city center, seaport, and local industries.
The city was eventually captured by Soviet forces in 1945, resulting in the majority of remaining inhabitants abandoning their homes.
“Gold find of the century”
An amateur metal detectorist in Norway made the “gold find of the century” in September when he dug up nine engraved gold pendants, ten gold pearls and three gold rings—all dating to the sixth century A.D. on the island of Rennesøy.
Erlend Bore initially thought he’d unearthed some old chocolate coins; in reality, he’d struck gold. Officials say the discovery is the first of its kind in the country since the 1800s.
“This is the gold find of the century in Norway,” says Ole Madsen, director of the Museum of Archaeology at the University of Stavanger, in a statement. “To find so much gold at the same time is extremely unusual.”