James Balme made history in 2006 when he made his first major finding; a Roman silver snake bracelet lying on the surface of a farmer's field. Under the Treasure Act 1996, the bracelet was declared National Treasure (formerly treasure trove) and is now in the hands of the Manchester Museum. But, using his metal detector, James claims to have made his second discovery of buried treasure: eight Roman silver Republican Denarius coins, dated between 252 BC and 2 BC. He said they were not only rare but also highly significant as their presence indicated that Roman legionaries must have been based in the area of what is now the village of Warburton.
"Most Roman coins found are from the 1st or 2nd centuries AD but these are older Republican coins and come from a time before the Roman Empire," he said.
"I think they reached the River Bollin and buried the coins because of the local Brigantes [a Celtic tribe who controlled Northern England] but, for some reason, never came back for them."
"It's very exciting because they're extremely rare," he said.
"And when you go back to the same site and keep finding more coins, you know are onto something big."
David Shotter, a former professor of Roman history and expert in Roman coins, agreed the find was unusual.
"Hoards of denarii are not uncommon, but what is interesting is that this discovery indicates a Roman site that we haven't yet located."
And although it was impossible to establish an exact date of loss, he suggested that they were probably buried between 70 and 130 AD.
Under the law, a discovery of six or more such coins from one site is classed officially as a Roman hoard. James said he had now reported his find under the Portable Antiquities Scheme to be considered as another case of National Treasure.
Source: BBC News.