Here’s a bit of comedy gold for you: a pair of metal-detecting treasure hunters unearthed a stash of Roman coins – only to find out the booty was a prop for BBC sitcom Detectorists.
Andy Sampson and Paul Adams were hunting for historical riches in a field on the Suffolk/Essex border when they discovered 50 gold coins alongside some broken pottery.
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“I heard Paul shout out ‘yes!’” said Sampson (via The Telegraph). “I looked up to see him dancing around. He came floating towards me screaming ‘Roman gold! Roman gold!’. I ran over to him and was amazed when he showed me a small Roman gold coin in the palm of his hand.
“We sat there in total disbelief. I had my head in my hands at one point just because of the sheer enormity of it all and the feeling of having found a gold hoard.”
However, the pair’s celebrations were cruelly short-lived. Although they thought each of the Emperor Nero coins were worth £26,500 each, a veteran detectorist neighbour had to tell the pair they were fakes. After discovering Detectorists had recently filmed in the location, a phone call to the production company confirmed it: the counterfeit coins were only props worth £5 each.
“We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry […] I think we are officially the world’s unluckiest metal detectorists. Our story would make a TV series of its own,” said Sampson.
“After we found them I was paying off my mortgage and buying a sports car in my head. We thought we were looking at the real McCoy. Now I look at them and want to cry.”
Still, at least they unearthed a great anecdote to tell. That’s worth the same, right guys?