Scottish Daily Mail

Found, coin that may hold clue to Da Vinci Code

- By Gavin Madeley

IT may look a bit like a half-chewed rivet, but for historical conspiracy theorists this longlost coin is a real piece of buried treasure.

Unearthed near Coldstream in Berwickshi­re last year, the 7th century gold tremissis dates to the Frankish Merovingia­n dynasty and is the first of its type ever found in Scotland.

The anonymous finder received a £1,600 payout, but how the coin found its way so far north will offer food for thought to fans of The Da Vinci Code.

They will need no reminding of the novel’s central premise that the Merovingia­ns (AD476-750) were a secret bloodline descended from Jesus.

News of the rare coin, which has been placed in Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, emerged yesterday as Scotland’s official Treasure Trove Unit issued its annual report, revealing some of the 825 objects of worth found by members of the public in the past 12 months.

The unit dispensed £50,070 in ex gratia payments for a range of valuable items, including a ceremonial Roman wine dipper found at Hawick, Roxburghsh­ire. An Iron Age strap mount was found at Dunbar in East Lothian and valued at £5,500 – the largest single payout.

Other finds included a medieval silver crucifix at Loch Leven in Kinross-shire and two 16th century gold finger rings at Roslin in Midlothian.

The unit dealt with 162 treasure trove cases, a rise of just under a third on 2012-13.

Catherine Dyer, the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembranc­er, said: ‘The report confirms this has been another magnificen­t year with some outstandin­g finds being reported, preserved and displayed in breathtaki­ng museum collection­s around Scotland.’

The Crown is entitled to claim any finds made in Scotland, whether by chance, metal-detecting or excavation. Such finds are the property of the Crown, not the finder or landowner.

 ??  ?? Rare: The gold tremissis
Rare: The gold tremissis

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