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Gold coil shaped bracelets found in County Donegal, Ireland

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Norman Witherow is a farmer in County Donegal, Ireland.  He made an astonishing discovery of four coil-shaped solid gold bracelets and they are believed to date back to the Bronze Age (2500-500 BC) or even older according to National Museum of Ireland.
The items were buried two feet deep, hidden under a rock, which protected them and was covered with clay.
Their likely use was that of jewelry, but could also have been some form of currency.  Research is currently in progress to uncover more information about them and so far there are no items exactly the same as these found.
It is expected that this golden treasure will be on display at the National Museum of Ireland soon.

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Beginner's luck for 3 Year old boy who unearths Medieval reliquary worth £70 000

3 Year old James

3 Year old James Hyatt from Billericay, Essex wanted to join his father and grandfather metal detecting and a trip planned out on a field in Hockley, Essex seemed like as perfect opportunity as any to have his first ever try at treasure hunting.
Within minutes of taking hold of the metal detector there was a distinctive beep, indicating a non ferrous target buried in the ground. He started digging several inches deep and much to the astonishment of everyone unearthed a gold locket which turned out to be a reliquary.
Experts dated it to the era of Henry VIII (early 16th century), the engraving is a type which was popular during that time.

Medieval Christians believed in the power of relics, any physical remains of what was considered a holy site or person and any object which they had contact with. Anything touched by Christ or his apostles were considered to have healing powers and since Saints were believed to provide a spiritual link between life and death and acts as an advocate for humankind in heaven, effectively, between man and God, anything related to them were believed to provide the same. These items were considered to be so valuable that some were even stolen by one church and placed in another.

Front view of the locket
Back view of the locket

Since the Relics were considered of such high value, it was only appropriate that they be stored for protection and displayed in containers known as Reliquaries and crafted of and/or covered by precious material such as gold, silver and gems.
They were often engraved with narrative scenes from the life of Saints, whose remains may have been contained within. At times the decoration was not related to a specific saint or community, but that of general themes about Christian faith, which made them appropriate to be widely used in any community. They were sometimes created specifically for privileged individuals, usually wealthy people or purchased by them and the one James found would have been worn around the neck of such person. Reliquaries created for both churches and private individuals were destroyed by enemies of the church during times of religious and political conflict. They are very rare. Only three other similar ones as that which was unearthed in Hockley are known to have survived.


Made of 73 per cent gold, 1 inch wide and 1.3 inches long, the front has an engraved image of a female Saint which is believed to be Saint Helena, mother of Constantine clutching a cross and the back features the presentation of blood droplets from 4 cut wounds and a heart with a cut in it, representing the 5 wounds of Christ.
The names of the Three Wise Men, Iaspar, Melcior and Baltasar are inscribed on three different sides. The back part is a panel for the purpose of sliding out to place a relic inside.
The panel was stuck and had to be very carefully pried open, once opened revealed that the item, which was supposed to be contained within, was missing.
How this artifact ended up with it's contents missing and detached from the chain and buried in the earth is a mystery.
 It has been declared a treasure and purchased by the British Museum for £70000. The proceeds of its sale will be shared between James’s family and the landowner.


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