BBC News

Devon treasure hunter discovers 22,000 Roman coins

A treasure hunter from Devon has discovered the biggest hoard of 4th century Roman coins recorded in Britain.

Laurence Egerton, a builder, took up metal detecting seven years ago and found 22,000 Roman coins dating from AD260 to AD348.

He told Sam Walker on BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast: "Initially I found what I thought were two very small Roman coins, which in itself is unusual in Devon, so I decided to scan the area a bit closer and a few minutes later I got what I would call a 50/50 signal, which normally means there's a bit of iron involved. I don't normally dig iron because it's usually a horse shoe, but in this case, I dug a bit deeper and found them."

The collection has gone on temporary display at the British Museum, where experts hailed it as an ''extraordinary'' find.

A number of the coins were struck to mark the foundation of Constantinople in AD332, and bear the image of Emperor Constantine the Great.