Like any other weekend, Derek McLennan took his trusty metal detector out for some treasure hunting. Although he hardly ever found anything better than a dirty ring or some old change, he loved walked around with the metal detector and trying to find treasure. It made him feel like an explorer and an adventurer. Plus, he got to be outside and do something fun. But on this occasion, Derek stumbled upon the jackpot of a lifetime and he probably will never stop smiling…
While out in a field in western Scotland, Derek took his metal detector out of the case and began searching from the corner to the other corner. About halfway through the day, he noticed a loud beeping.
Before he began digging, he marked the spot and continued sweeping the field. That was his method. He figured he would come back and found the rusty ring later.
But the beeping only grew louder and more pronounced. That’s when Derek decided to start digging right away. This time it might be something better than some loose change. And soon enough he realized that he had hit the mother lode…
After digging into the field, Derek unearthed what would later be described as the “richest collection” of ancient Viking artifacts ever found in the United Kingdom. Derek didn’t just find one or two things, the collection of gold and silver treasure had about 100 pieces in it.
Derek didn’t want everyone to know about his secret find. If he announced it too early, the government might sweep in and try to steal it out from under him.
Instead of posting everything on social media, Derek contacted the proper channels and got in touch with experts who knew how to handle these valuables.
It has been more than three years since he found the objects. Now the government has ruled in his favor calling him the sole owner of the “Galloway hoard.” But that was only the beginning of Derek’s good news, those that assessed his findings told him that everything was worth at least $2.5 million.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of NMS, said: “The Galloway hoard is of outstanding international significance and we are absolutely delighted that QLTR has decided to allocate it to NMS. We now have six months to raise £1.98 million to acquire this unique treasure for the nation and ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations both at home and abroad.”
Derek is overjoyed, but so is Scotland.
SAFAP chair Evelyn Silber said: “The panel is grateful to the finder for reporting these stunning artifacts which include decorative glass beads, silver bracelets and brooches, a gold ring, a bird-shaped gold pin and a highly-decorated gilt vessel recognized as being one of only three known examples. These will now be preserved and put on display for the people of Scotland, and the world, to enjoy. The mysterious circumstances of their deposition and unique quality will attract researchers and enthusiasts alike.”
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