Volunteer on a lockdown litter pick finds 1,800-year-old Roman coin that he initially thought was a euro
- Chris Lyon, 27, made the discovery when he was out helping clean up the Carr Mill Dam in St Helens, Merseyside, with his girlfriend Chelsea Marsden
- Chris first asked his grandparents about the coin before taking to social media
- Coin can fetch up to £45 at auction but Chris has no plans to sell at the moment
A man found a 1,800-year-old Roman coin on the ground in a park while out litter-picking with his girlfriend.
Chris Lyon, 27, discovered the artefact from around AD 241 on July 5 at Carr Mill Dam in St Helens, Merseyside, while clearing rubbish with his girlfriend, Chelsea Marsden, 22.
Initially mistaking the silver coin for a Euro, Chris pocketed it and returned home but, after cleaning the mystery object, he began to believe the eroding coin might be older than he had originally imagined.
And after Chris, a contractor, shared his unusual find on Facebook, history enthusiasts quickly pointed out the coin, worth up to £45, appeared to depict Gordian III – a Roman emperor who ruled England from AD 238 to AD 244.
Chris Lyon, 27, discovered a 1,800-year-old Roman coin while out litter-picking with his girlfriend. He initially thought the coin was a Euro before Facebook informed him otherwise
Chris plans on returning to the spot soon to see if there are any more ancient artefacts
The area of Carr Mill Dam in St Helens where Chris found the 1,800-year-old Roman coin
Speaking today from his home in St Helens, Chris said: ‘I couldn’t believe what was in front of me.
‘What breaks my mind is that the coin has been sat there for thousands of years and it has just been missed.
‘I thought someone would have dug it up some time ago.
‘It looked like a big 5p and it wasn’t even buried. It was just half in the ground.
‘When I first found it, I thought it might be a Euro or an old peseta from Spain.
‘But I showed it to my grandparents and they said it didn’t look like anything they’d ever seen on their holidays.’
‘If I had known what the coin was when I picked it up, I’d have spent more time having a look around.’
The obverse of the two-thousand-year-old coin portrays the side profile of Gordian III, the Roman Empire’s youngest ever emperor, who was crowned at the tender age of 13 in AD 238.
On the reverse Apollo, the Roman god of music, is depicted seated and holding a branch in his right hand while resting his left elbow on a lyre – a string instrument.
The coin depicts Gordian III, the Roman Empire’s youngest ever emperor who was crowned at the age of 13. On the other side, the Roman god of music Apollo is shown seated with a lyre
Gordian III presided over an empire stretching from the Middle East to England until AD 244 when he was killed in battle at just 19 years old.
The silver coin can fetch around £45 today at auction, but Chris has no plans on cashing in on his extraordinary find and instead plans to keep it as a souvenir or donate it to the Sankey Canal and Restoration Society in Merseyside in recognition of their efforts in cleaning-up the beauty spot.
He said: ‘There’s a lot of fly-tipping around Carr Mill Dam and me and my partner have been trying to help clear it recently.
‘I only spotted it because Chelsea found a 50p in the same area a few weeks ago and we’ve been trying to one up each other ever since.
‘We’re going to go back to the dam soon to see if there’s anything else lying around there
‘If there’s one coin, who’s to say there’s not a lot more from where it came from?’