Ancient coins worth thousands of euros found: “I’ve never tried them before”

Eeuwenoude muntschat gevonden in Bronkhorst

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Ancient coin treasure found in Bronkhorst © Omrup Gelderland

Bronkhorst – A unique archaeological find was made during the renovation of a huge house on the Bovenstraat in the town of Bronkhorst. It is a historical treasure trove of coins: fourteen gold coins and eighteen silver coins, which were hidden underground shortly after 1620. The treasure is on display at the Stedelijk Museum in Zutphen.

But before it can be seen in Zutphen, the townspeople of Bronkhorst can enjoy the treasure in the church on Monday evenings.

Archaeologist Michael Grothhead approaches a shoebox. “Yes, you wouldn’t expect it,” he said, removing some paper towels from the box, but that’s a treasure.

Watch the special discovery video:

Ancient gold and silver coins were found during the renovation

When the napkin disappears, many cysts appear. There is a coin in every bag. “It was really cool for me,” he began. “I’ve worked as an archaeologist in Zutphen for thirty years and have never experienced this before.”

Together with an alderman of Bronckhurst, who had bought the treasure, he began to furnish the display box. A coin appears with a coin. One is older than the other. “The oldest coin dates from 1486-1495 and is a gold guilder,” Grothhead says. “But it is more important for archaeologists to know the smallest coin. That way you know when the coins were last hidden.” It dates back to 1620. Groothedde will tell you what that means soon.

Found during renovation

First we walk a few houses away. Joop Holthausen lives in Bovenstraat. Coins started in his house. “Everything looks thorny and stretches now, but the construction workers were busy here at the end of October,” he says. “A construction worker saw a loose rock and pushed it several times,” Holthausen explains.

“The stone fell and at the same time a pile of coins was rolling on the ground. A pile of gold and a pile of silver coins.” It is a special find for Holthausen. He immediately decided to call in archaeologist Michael Grothhead. “Yes because it’s nice to have this, but what’s the story behind it?”

So we return to the world of archeology. “Because we know that the oldest coins came from 1620, we also know that the coins were hidden during the Eighty Years’ War. A war that sowed so much death and destruction in Achterhoek. It seems that the people who once lived in the house ran away and never got Chance to get the coins back.”

dear value

If you look at the value of the treasure, you will find that it is worth about 15,000 euros in our time. But four centuries ago, the treasure had a different value, Grothhead says: “The purchasing power at the time would have been about 2,000 to 4,000 euros. So if you convert it to current standards, you’re talking about twice the monthly salary.”

In addition, at that time you could do more with this money in the east of the Netherlands than in the west of the country: “The golden age was in full swing in the west of the Netherlands, but this was not the case in the Achterhoek. Before that, it was already this An asset.”

The question remains why the homeowner had so much money in the house at the time. “However, you need to imagine that at that time a lot was saved, for example, for a dowry or for the renovation of your house.”

in the show

The coins were examined and cleaned after discovery. The municipality of Bronckhurst also participated. He decides to buy the treasure from his discoverer. Aldermann Punk: “What a wonderful historical find! These coins were hidden in the house 400 years ago and now they have been found.”

Coin with the image of Philip II.
Coin with the image of Philip II. © Omrup Gelderland

“A unique treasure that beautifully symbolizes the history of our municipality and the city of Bronkhorst. This story must of course be told. That is why we decided to seize the coin treasure from the owner and discoverer, to make it accessible to the public.”

The coin hoard can be viewed in the Stedelijk Museum in Zutphen. In addition to the exhibition in the museum, there is also a brochure Bronkhorster coin treasure It is for sale in the museum and in bookstores. The brochure contains treasure information regarding the town of Bronkhorst.

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