History’s Hoards

July 31, 2017
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Thousands of glinting silver discs, rings, bars of silver and bronze scrap, make up the contents of a Viking hoard, just waiting under the ground. Welcome back to the Stewart Kuper Jewelers blog. After the talk about marine salvages and lost treasures, we wanted to talk about hoards. Hoards, or a ‘wealth deposit,’ are any collection of material wealth or objects buried, usually with the intention of getting recovered later. Whether the hoarder died before recovery, or the location was lost, these caches of wealth and artifacts occasionally find their way through history and into the laps of modern folks. Here are some of the largest hoards ever found!

The Spillings Hoard

The largest find of Viking silver treasure, featuring over 14,000 silver coins and 44lbs of bronze scrap, the Spillings hoard was found in July 1999 in Gotland, Sweden. Reporters were filming a cultural piece on the problem of archaeological looting when shortly after they had completed the piece they discovered the first of three caches.

The Staffordshire Hoard

Thought to be from the 8th century and found by an Englishman in 2009 walking about with his metal detector, the largest treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon origin was in Hammerwich, Staffordshire. Totaling over 3500 items, a majority of which were military related; the value of the hoard was roughly $4 million.

The Hoxne Hoard

In 1992 a farmer lost a hammer in his field. His friend had a metal detector and so the two got together to locate the missing tool. To their surprise, they instead found a massive treasure of 4th and 5th century coins, jewelry, and silver inside an oak chest, with Roman ladles and serving bowls elsewhere in the field. The total value of the find was estimated at $3.8 million.

It’s almost enough to make you bolt to the hardware store to buy a metal detector.  All of these hoards were found in Europe.  If you would rather buy your jewelry than hope to dig it up, visit Stewart Kuper Jewelers for a wonderful selection of jewelry items.