For a simple Anglo Saxon trader, it would have been the fruits of years of hard work, but it would seem he never got the chance to spend it.
Perhaps hidden from invading Romans, or just inquisitive neighbours, a pot containing more than 1,000 coins has lain buried untouched for 2,000 years in a Warwickshire field.
That is, until a metal detector used by 47-year-old keen amateur historian Keith Bennett located the historic pot, containing a total of 1,141 silver Dinarii, while out scanning the field in south Warwickshire.
The exact value of the find, which dates back as far as 206BC, is not yet known but a hearing at Warwickshire Coroner’s Court was told that Mr Bennett could be in line for a “considerable amount of money”.
At the treasure trove hearing held at Leamington Spa Town Hall yesterday, coroner for Coventry and Warwickshire Sean McGovern confirmed the rare collection was a treasure trove after hearing it was a “very significant find”.
The pot was unearthed last July but, under English law, Mr Bennett had to declare his find to the local coroner before he could lay claim to his discovery.
The coins will now be sent to the British Museum where an independent committee will officially value them before the state decides if it wants to purchase the find from Mr Bennett.
Mr Bennett, who runs a mobile library for Warwickshire County Council, said: “I just had an incredible feeling of history and going back in time. I felt a sense of connection with the person who buried these coins all those years ago.
“I wondered who they were and why they didn’t come back for it. It was brilliant – an experience that everyone should have.
“I’ve been doing metal detecting for 11 years and never had a find like that.
“I really hope that the experts can garner some useful information from the coins and the pot they were found in.”
Experts believe the pot of coins could have been buried by a trader in an attempt to hide his stash from the Romans when they invaded England more than 2,000 years ago.
David Freke, a consultant archaeologist for the RPS Group who directed an amateur excavation team at a nearby site last year, said: “The place where this treasure was found was in the frontier zone between Roman invasion and British tribes.
“It could have been buried because its owner was worried that the Romans would not let him keep it.
“It was an extremely uncomfortable time to be living in. And as he never came back for his pot of coins, he could easily have met the fate that he had feared.”
Mr Bennett, and a group of amateur historians have asked the location of the site to be kept secret amid fears of pillaging and night-hawking.
The pot was undiscovered just one foot beneath the surface.