The original finder thought this golden neckpiece was an old coffin handle.This torc, a neckpiece made of gold alloy and weighing exactly 1lb (454 gm), was made for a Celtic chieftain, to be worn as a symbol of wealth, status and political power two thousand years ago. It was found by a canal worker near Glascote in Staffordshire. Thinking it was an old coffin handle, he was told to keep it as a souvenir, and it was not until 1970 that he realised its true worth. The torc was declared Treasure, and the museum was invited to purchase it. Raising the money was only possible through the generosity of the people of Birmingham, who launched a massive public appeal.
The torc is not perfect; there are several manufacturing imperfections, which suggests that it was a reject set aside to be re-worked. We know little about ancient Celtic life in this part of the country, but there must have been a major metalworking industry, and a significant Celtic society existing in the area to have sustained such a luxury craft.
The original finder thought this golden neckpiece was an old coffin handle.