Photo courtesy of Portable Antiquities Scheme.
“We didn’t know at first what type of coins they were but as they continued to come out we started noticing similarities between them,” said Gary.
“We kept going up there and going over until we thought we had got them all.
“Our families and friends have been amazed, just stunned.
“Everyone can’t believe it, I still can’t really believe what we found. It’s quite amazing.”
While the exact location of where the hoard was discovered will remain a secret the men have told the Herald that it was unearthed somewhere between Tamworth and Harlaston.
The hoard was officially declared to be treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh at Cannock Coroner’s Court this week.
“With coins, the criteria is slightly different but there are more than 10 coins here so the criteria is met as well as their precious nature,” said Mr Haigh.
“This means there is no real doubt about it.
“I’m satisfied that the 33 coins are part of the same find and will formerly record them as treasure,” said Mr Haigh.
Speaking at the treasure trove inquest, Teresa Gilmore, the Finds Liaison Officer for Staffordshire and the West Midlands as part of Birmingham Museums Trust, said the find was “regionally quite significant”.
“It’s one of the largest Iron Age coin hoards to be found in the West of the country and triples the number of gold staters known in Staffordshire,” said Miss Gilmore.
While Gary, of The Beck, Elford, and James had been keen metal detectorists for years, Mick was relatively new to the hobby when they made the find just over one year ago. Gary said: “I’ll be honest, when James found the first one I almost fell over but then Mick found another and was shouting across to me ‘I’ve found a gold coin, I’ve found a golf coin’.
“He came running over to me, he was so excited!”
Mick, who grew up in Tamworth and now works as a builder with Gary in the town, said that for him the value of the items was of secondary importance.
“It’s all a bit of a blur looking back on those couple of weeks, it was very exciting,” he said.
“Because I had only been doing it for about three months I wasn’t expecting to find anything.
“I wasn’t sure what they were apart from that they were gold.
“I’m not too fussed about how much they are worth really, it’s finding them that is the best thing. It’s huge for the area.”
James, who lives in Albert Road, added: “It was really interesting to hear more about them at the inquest.
“We are all really excited about finding them.”
The coins, which were produced between around 40 BC and 20-30 AD within Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, are three different types of gold staters – South Ferriby types, Domino types and Kite types.
They comprise 40 percent gold and 10 percent silver.