While diving off the coast of an Italian island, a citizen recently spotted a metallic glimmer on the seafloor. It turned out to be two massive troves of ancient bronze coins.
Italy’s Ministry of Culture said after the diver’s discovery, its researchers conducted an extensive search of the area off the northeastern coast of Sardinia and unearthed between 30,000 and 50,000 large bronze coins. The coins were dispersed between two areas in a large sandy area, one of which has evidence of a possible shipwreck.
Photos and a video show divers exploring the seafloor where the coins were found.
Experts said the coins are in an exceptional state of preservation, according to the ministry’s Nov. 4 news release. Only four of the coins had any damage, but even with the damage, they are still in good condition.
The coins are believed to date to the first half of the fourth century, likely between 324 and 340, the ministry said. Coins from nearly every mint in the Roman empire were discovered among the artifacts.
Sardinia is an island off the west coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Google Translate was used to translate a news release from Italy’s Ministry of Culture.