The Netherlands: rare medieval sceat coin found in Limburg


The Living Force
Source: 36 sceats buy a cow - rare medieval coin found in Limburg -

36 sceats buy a cow – rare medieval coin found in Limburg

August 15, 2019

William Posthouwer

A thousand year-old rare sceat coin has turned up near Born in Limburg, broadcaster NOS reports [in Dutch].

The coin, whose name is derived from the old German word for schat, or treasure, is over a thousand years old and is particularly rare for Limburg.

Finder William Posthouwer from Born is not telling where his metal detector bleeped as he is still investigating the area but said the find was his ‘most spectacular ever‘.

‘This coin was minted at around 700 AD and of a continental runic type,’ ancient coin specialist Paul Beliën told the broadcaster. ‘Only 24 out of the more than 3,000 sceat coins found in the Netherlands were discovered in Limburg and just four are of the very rare continental runic type.’

Sceats were mainly used along the coast of Friesland and that is why they rarely made their way as far south as Limburg.

It is hard to put a present-day value on the coin, Beliën, who works for the Dutch Bank DNB, said. ‘But we do know from historical sources that in the Middle Ages you needed 36 sceats to buy a cow.’

The find was first recorded on a metal detector’s website in Belgium [in Dutch] in April 2019.


The Living Force
New find by the same man (Dutch only): Schatzoeker vindt eeuwenoude munt in Limbricht

DeepL Translator said:
Treasure hunter finds ancient coin in Limbricht

NOS News - Regional news -Culture & Media - Today, 10:51 AM

Photo: William Posthouwer

During research with a metal detector in Limbricht, a special coin was found. It is a gold coin from the seventh century.

William Posthouwer from Born discovered the coin on the same spot where he found a thousand-year-old sceatta coin in August. "There is still a lot to come out of the ground," he predicts. Posthouwer doesn't want to say where the place is, because he first wants to comb it all by himself.

The coin is a so-called golden tremissis, an originally Roman coin that was taken over by the Franks. "They took over part of the Roman Empire and the currency remained in use afterwards", says Paul Beliën, curator of the National Numismatic Collection at De Nederlandsche Bank [Dutch Central Bank].

It is not surprising the coin was found in Limburg, because that area was once part of the Frankish Empire. The coin shows that it was minted in Angers in north-western France, writes 1Limburg [in Dutch].

Safe deposit box

Posthouwer wants to sell the coin and has already been approached by several interested parties. One collector from England, for example, offered 10,000 euros. "But I prefer that the coin stays in the Netherlands and ends up in a museum. Then I can visit it as well occasionally."

The centuries-old coin is currently stored in a safe in a bank. Postholder considers it too risky to keep the coin at home.

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