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A TREASURE hunter won a top-notch metal detector in a raffle — and used it to unearth a £23,000 hoard of silver coins three months later.

Mickey Richardson dug up 234 coins — believed to have been buried in 1644 during the Civil War — in a muddy field.

Mickey RIchardson unearthed a £23,000 hoard of silver coins just months after winning a metal detectorCredit: Bournemouth News
They date back to the English Civil WarCredit: Bournemouth News

The novice handed the coins to a finds liaison officer but got them back as “finders keepers”.

He was “jumping up and down” as he watched online when they were sold at London auctioneers Spink & Son for £18,500.

With fees, the price was £23,000.

Mickey, of Bournemouth, must split the proceeds with the landowner but plans to fund a holiday with wife Rosalynd from his share.

The 63-year-old said: “I only took up the hobby a few months before and had a very basic metal detector, but then entered the raffle and won.

“A couple of months after that I got permission from the owner of land in Ansty where there used to be a small mudhouse village and where the fields were used to grow hops to brew beer in the Napoleonic Wars.

“I had been there a couple of times and found a copper coin but that was it.

“On the weekend I found the hoard I was just about to call it a day when I got a strong signal and found a Charles I shilling.

“Then I swept the area again and got another signal and then another signal and another.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I dug up 74 silver coins on the first day and was shattered afterwards.

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“I went back the next morning thinking it would be nice to round it up to 100 but found a total of 234 coins spread over a radius.

“They must have been struck by a plow and scattered across the field and I was the lucky one who found them almost 500 years later.

“It was a day I will never forget. I alerted the Finds Liaison Officer and the rest is history.”

Mickey must split the money with the landowner but plans to use his share to fund a holiday with his wifeCredit: Bournemouth News

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