Man finds 16th century Ottoman silver coins in Romania

A Romanian man has found a trove of silver coins dating from the 16th Century in Dolj county, Southern Romania. The 1,471 silver coins date from the time of Romanian leader Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), between 1500 and 1600, and were found in the Bulzeşti area by Dumintru Banţa, from nearby Craiova.

The coins, which have a total weight of 1.8kg, are now with the Oltenia museum, where they are being evaluated by experts. The man who found the coins should receive 30 percent of their value as a reward, but they are yet to be valued.

The coins were found at a depth of half a meter in a cloth bag, said Oltenia Museum Director Florin Ridiche, who added that the coins are an important find.

Of the 1,471 coins, 1415 are Ottoman Turkish. There are also eight Hungarian coins, while the rest are from elsewhere in Europe, including Poland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Netherlands, Lubeck, Saxony and Nuremberg.

Dumintru Banţa found the coins with the help of a metal detector and says he has a license to hunt for treasure. He said he first found some Turkish coins at a depth of around 15cm, but on digging further, more and more silver coins were revealed.

Liam Lever, [email protected]