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Treasure of 53 gold coins found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea

Two Spanish divers have discovered a treasure trove of 53 gold coins at the bottom of the sea. Archaeologists have determined that they are Roman numismats and date from the 4th and 5th centuries. Scuba divers found the coins while diving off the east coast of Spain, in the waters of the Bay of Alicante.
Published: September 22, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:17
Treasure of 53 gold coins found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea

Two Spanish divers have discovered a treasure trove of 53 gold coins at the bottom of the sea. Archaeologists have determined that they are Roman numismats and date from the 4th and 5th centuries.

Scuba divers found the coins while diving off the east coast of Spain, in the waters of the Bay of Alicante. They informed the relevant services about their wonderful discovery. Archaeologists investigated the indicated site and brought to the surface a treasure of 53 gold coins.

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Now experts will examine them and put them through a conservation process. Then, cleaned and protected, they will be sent to a local museum. After being classified and described by the museologists, the coins will expand the museum’s exhibition.

The two Spaniards who found the treasure of 53 gold coins came across it by chance. Every year Luis Lens and César Gimen spend their holidays with their families on the Alicante coast. Their main hobby is snorkelling and diving in the surrounding waters.

When entering the water, both men have no great purpose. They simply like to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world with their eyes. They always take the opportunity to pick up any rubbish they come across in order to leave the sea in a better state than they found it. The same happened this time, but the result surprised everyone.

During a dive on 23 August, Lens spotted a shiny object lying on the bottom at a depth of 7 metres. Already at the first moment it seemed to him that what he spotted was a shiny gold coin. The man continued his dive and decided to retrieve it before returning to the boat.

archaeologists searching for gold coins How great was his surprise when on the boat he saw that the coin looked very old. Lens and Gimeno went underwater again to carefully check the bottom in that area. To their own surprise they found a treasure of 53 gold coins on the bottom.

After talking to the family, the divers decided that it would be best to inform the local authorities about the treasure. The two men returned to the site three times accompanied by marine archaeologists. During these three dives a total of 53 coins, three nails, probably made of bronze, and very damaged lead remains that appear to be part of the chest were found and excavated.

Identification of the find

The team of specialists who examined the coins identified them and linked them to specific rulers. Three with Valentinian I, seven with Valentinian II, fifteen with Theodosius I, seventeen with Arcadius and ten with Honorius. Interestingly, archaeologists have not come across the remains of any wreck anywhere nearby. It is therefore very possible that this was a deliberately hidden deposit.

Archaeologists believe that the coins may have belonged to a large landowner who lived in the area. He probably wanted to hide them from the arrival of the barbarians. The coins found were classified not as a means of payment, but as capital to consolidate the family’s wealth.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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