8 December 2014 - Coin Hoard Blog - Jersey Heritage

Having discovered an extremely large torc two weeks ago we have continued to remove coins in the same area and we haven't reached the end of the jewellery yet.


The large torc is pretty much uncovered now and we can see that it would join behind the neck with a pin.  It seems to be in very good condition but one unusual area near its rear shows an area of dark red material, often between coin gaps but in some places showing more structure, suggesting a strip of substance about a centimeter wide lying over the buried torc.  We haven't done any analyses yet so we don't know what this substance is but we've recorded it as well as possible and taken samples.

In the same way that we found the large torc while clearing around another one, we have continued to find more new pieces as we cleared around it.  We've found another of the sheet gold objects long visible on the hoard's side.  This new one seems very similar but is possibly in better condition.  We have also partially uncovered two other smaller diameter possibly solid gold torc sections, one towards the rear of the hoard and another towards its centre.  As such we just don't know how far the rich area of jewellery extends throughout the hoard's body, but it's certainly further than we initially thought.  What we are going to do over the next few months therefore is to extend the coin removal out from the torc area  to a 5cm depth over the whole surface and see what we find.

If you read last week's blog you will have seen the still dirty silver bracelet that we had just extracted.  I decided to clean this back to its original appearance because there was virtually no silver corrosion visible, only the spotty green copper corrosion from neighbouring coins.  This has worked well and the original surface has been revealed to be in fine condition.

Finally, we don't want to give the impression that we have become obsessed by the gold jewellery to the exclusion of the other research we've been doing.  Our two volunteers (and hoard discoverers!) Reg Meade and Richard Miles have continued their cleaning and identification of all the coins we are removing.  One nice discovery recently has been a coin that for the first time has a face staring straight out at us.  Almost all Armorican coins show a face in profile, usually looking to the right and this new one is the first "face on" found in any Jersey hoard.  Apparently it's a "Chaloire" type, similar to one found near Anger and very rare even in France.