Ancient Roman coin found in park near UBC with metal detector
VANCOUVER -- Chris Monk was scanning the ground with his metal detector near Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver when he came across something unusual.
His detector alerted him to something under the grass, so he started digging. Six inches down, he found an old coin. He put it in his pocket and took it home.
Once home, he began cleaning the coin, and posted pictures of it in online metal detecting groups. In the online groups, members alerted him to the significance of the coin -- they told him it was an ancient Roman coin.
“This coin dates back to before the middle ages and when you think about the journey it’s taken to end up in my hand, that’s something quite spectacular,” he said.
Monk had been scanning the grounds of Camosun Park near the University of B.C.
"It’s in fair condition, enough to be able to identify it,” he said.
Coin experts have confirmed Monk’s findings. Paul Anderson of the Vancouver Ancient Coin Club says Monk’s coin dates back to 140 to 144 A.D. during the reign of emperor Antoninus Pius.
“This was the most common denomination of bronze coin in the second century and was worth 1/4 of a silver denarius,” Anderson wrote in an email to CTV News Vancouver.
“The silver denarius was considered a day's wage for a Legionary soldier or tradesperson,” he continued.
Monk says he plans to have the coin authenticated and to hang onto it. He also plans to continue searching the area where he first unearthed the coin.
“Now that I’ve found a 19-hundred-year-old coin I don’t think I will ever break this record again,” he said.