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7th century gold coin unearthed in Coldstream

The gold Merovingian coin found at Coldstream is now housed in a Glasgow museum, forming part of Scotland's largest collection of coins

The gold Merovingian coin found at Coldstream is now housed in a Glasgow museum, forming part of Scotland's largest collection of coins

A seventh century gold coin found in the Coldstream area is one of Scotland’s best Treasure Trove finds over the past year.

The Merovingian coin was introduced in the late Roman Empire and coins of this type were known to have been in use across England but the Coldstream find is the first time such a coin has been found in Scotland.

Now in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, which houses one of the world’s great coin collections - 70,000 coins, medals, tokens and related objects - the Coldstream gold coin was one of the highlights of the recently published Treasure Trove list in Scotland found between April 2013 and March 2014.

During that time 825 objects found by over 250 members of the public were claimed as Treasure Trove and allocated to museums across Scotland.

In the Borders, apart from the gold coin, there were a number of finds: a fragmentary Roman wine dipper, comprising the cast handle and the fragmentary remains of the bowl, made from sheet metal and found at Hawick is now in the hands of Scottish Borders Museums Service; and Coldstream Museum now has a medieval seal matrix found at Kelso and four medieval objects found at Morebattle.

An Iron Age strap mount cast in bronze, characteristic of the 1st and 2nd centuries was uncovered at Dunbar and since being registered as Treasure Trove it has been allocated to East Lothian Museums Services.

An object like this would have been used to decorate the trappings of a horse and chariot, a symbol of the wealth and power of the owner and symbolic of the warrior elites who were a significant part of Iron Age culture.

Under Scots law, the Crown receives “all lost and abandoned property which is not otherwise owned” and Catherine Dyer, the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer who takes custody of such artefacts said: “The report confirms that this has been another magnificent year with some outstanding finds being reported, preserved and displayed in breathtaking museum collections around Scotland.”

 

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