ARTS & LEISURE

First 24 carat-gold coin treasure found in Oltenia

The first gold coin treasure in Oltenia, made up of 75 24 carat-gold coins, dating from the 18th century, was unearthed recently by archaeologists of the Craiova History Museum from the archaeological site in Desa (Dolj), Mediafax reports.
According to archaeologist Florin Ridiche, from the “Oltenia” History Museum in Craiova, the gold treasure was discovered by a police officer in Scaiesti, with a taste for archaeology.

“I hadn’t expected such a find. This is the first gold coin treasure to be discovered in Oltenia. Even the jar which contained the coins and the wooden stopper were preserved. The purity of gold in the coins is 998 per thousand, that is, 24 carats,” Ridiche stated. The 75 coins include 30 Napoleon III coins, worth 20 francs each, which were the prototype for the first Romanian gold coin, the RON 20-one, issued in 1868, which was commonly referred to as “a broad piece”. The treasure also in­cludes 30 Austrian ducats dating from the time of Emperor Franz Josef’s reign, coined in mints in Vienna and Alba Iulia, four coins bearing the Italian king Victor Ema­nuell’s effigy and another 11 coins bearing a Turkish sultan’s effigy.

Ridiche stated the gold coin treasure found in Desa is worth over EUR 100,000.

According to the archaeologist, earlier finds on the Deta archaeological site also included a Celtic weapons deposit, found within less than a metre away from the coin jar, and a Celtic warrior’s incineration grave, containing all the weapons wielded while alive – two lances and a knife with decorations on the edge – and a fibula.

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