Madrid Police Recover 90 Gold Coins From The Roman Empire

Madrid Police Recover 90 Gold Coins From The Roman Empire

Madrid Police Recover 90 Gold Coins From The Roman Empire. image: policia nacional

Madrid Police Recover Treasure Composed Of 90 Gold Coins From The Roman Empire

National Police officers in Madrid have confirmed in a statement the arrest of four people, suspected of crimes against historical heritage, misappropriation, and smuggling, and in the process, also recovered a treasure trove that comprised 90 gold coins dating back to the era of the Roman Empire, of huge historical and economic value.

These original coins date back to the time of emperors Nero, Galba, Vespasiano, Tito, Trajano, Adriano, Antonino Pío, Marco Aurelio, Lucio Vero, Didio Juliano, Heliogabalo, and Alejandro Severo, with the oldest coins minted in 64 and 65 AD, while the newest was from 231 AD, almost all pure 100 per cent gold.

An investigation had been launched a few months ago after the coins were detected in a well-known auction house in Madrid and it was soon discovered that two individuals from Cáceres had deposited the coins there, who were neither collectors nor from the world of numismatics, but were found to inhabit social network groups of metal detectorists.

Eleven of the auctioned coins had been smuggled and exported to Bulgaria, Germany, and Portugal without the mandatory export permits required by law and issued by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and it involved a lot of complicated procedures by the investigators to finally recover ten of them, with the eleventh needing a European Investigation Order after it had been sold in Portugal.

According to numismatics experts, the coins were worth an estimated €237,000, although their sale as a complete set could reach as much as €500,000.

Once the efforts saw the Madrid police recover all the coins, their efforts were then focused on obtaining all the information related to those investigated in order to be able to determine the place from which they had been extracted, and eventually they were tracked to the coordinates of a place cataloged in the archaeological chart of the Junta de Extremadura.

At the start of last June, an entry and search operation was carried out in the Cáceres homes of the two being investigated, during which two metal detectors were uncovered, along with some currency and old objects, in addition to abundant research-related documentation.

Both suspects were immediately arrested for a crime against historical heritage and another of misappropriation, and then a few days later, the person in charge of the Madrid auction house, plus his partner, were also arrested.

The stolen coins were deposited in the National Archaeological Museum, which, in parallel with the investigations, carried out a detailed study of each one of them, where it was deduced that 81 were minted in Rome and five in Lugdunum, the current French city Lyon, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at