Divers discover pure gold by chance off Portitxol in Javea (Alicante)

ROMAN TREASURE: Gold coins discovered off Portitxol in Javea Photo credit: IVCR+i

FREE-DIVING enthusiasts Luis Lens and Cesar Gimeno found eight gold coins off Javea’s small Portitxol island in September 2021.

As required by law, they informed the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage, whose experts were immediately aware of the value of the find. 

Alicante University archaeologists and divers from the Guardia Civil’s GEAS underwater operations unit took over and, with collaboration from Javea town hall, found another 45 coins.

These have now been identified as Roman solidus coins that were minted between the end of the Fourth Century AD and the beginning of the Fifth.

The archaeologists also discovered nails, possibly copper, together with fragments of lead which they believe must have belonged to a coffer.

All the finds were taken to the Valencian Institute of Conservation, Restoration and Research (IVCR+i) where they have been painstakingly restored, removing traces of the sea creatures and polyps that had adhered to them over the centuries. The coins are due to return shortly to Javea where they will be on permanent display at the Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnological Museum (IVCR+i).

“The museum has now installed the security measure to ensure the treasure’s safety, including a special display case equipped with anti-theft systems and a CCTV camera,” municipal sources said.


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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