Amateur Metal Hunters Find 1,000-Year-Old Viking Coins in Denmark
In late 2022, while on holiday, amateur metal hunters accidentally found a stash of 1,000-year-old Viking coins in Denmark. The find includes 22 coins, each around the size of a penny and featuring the faces of Viking kings. The coins were minted in the 10th century, confirming their connection to the Viking era. Jane Foged-Mønster, Louise Stahlschmidt, and Mette Norre Bækgaard stumbled upon the trove while on holiday in Hobro, North Denmark.
According to the Danish National Museum, at which the authenticity of the coins was verified, they were found by a group of metal detector enthusiasts in the town of Skaerbaek, in southwestern Denmark. In a statement, the museum said that the coins were most likely part of a royal payment and could have been buried for safekeeping.
The metal hunters who made the discovery said they were thrilled to have found the coins and were amazed by their rarity. Speaking to CNN, Klaus Rasmussen, one of the metal hunters, said, "When we heard what they were, we couldn't believe it. It's a dream come true” (Mew York Times, 2023)
The find is significant as Viking-era coins are not common in Denmark. According to Adam Boethius, a Viking expert at Lund University in Sweden, "These coins are interesting because they were minted outside the borders of Denmark, probably in Germany, and then brought here as payment or loot” (New York Times, 2023)
The discovery has also caught the attention of historians and archaeologists as it sheds light on the trade and payment systems of the Viking era. As Rasmussen remarked, "It's fantastic to think about what life was like in Denmark 1,000 years ago, how they did business and lived their daily lives” (New York Times, 2023).
The coins have since been handed over to the Danish National Museum and are expected to go on display in the future, providing a unique glimpse into Viking life and culture and helping people learn about them.