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217 Nazi-era gold coins found

  • In World
  • 00:00, 16 Jul
  • By Business Bureau

Bonn: An amateur archaeologist in Germany lived out every avid metal detectorist’s dream when he discovered a buried treasure trove of gold coins worth $66,000. The 217 coins, believed to have been buried during the Nazi era or the final days of World War II, were excavated from under the base of an old pine tree near the town of Lueneburg, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Florian Bautsch was exploring an area of burial mounds with his metal detector in October last year when he found 10 gold coins a meter under the earth. Mr Bautsch, a certified metal detectorist, notified authorities and a team of experts moved in and uncovered another 209 coins in amongst the roots of tree.

The team of archaeologists also recovered two aluminium seals, bearing images of a swastika, an imperial eagle and the stamp 'Reichsbank Berlin 244'. Germany’s central bank was named ‘Deutsche Reichsbank’ during the Nazi era, and analysis of the aluminium seals indicate they date from around 1940.

An archaeologist at Museum Lueneburg, where the unclaimed gold coins are now being exhibited, has a theory that the bounty was probably stolen by someone working inside the Deutsche Reichsbank. A Museum Lueneburg spokesperson says the coins are in excellent condition and are estimated to be worth between $281 and $311 each.