Gold Treasure Piece Found with Metal Detector in Wales

by on November 21, 2007 · 3 comments

This “touch piece” looks like a gold coin used in spending, but it was actually used while healing sick people. The touch piece was found on farmland in Wales.  A coin-like piece of gold was discovered on Overton farm land in Wrexham (North Wales), UK. Although circular and golden like many old coins, it wasn’t used for spending.

Only historians and archaeologists would likely recognize its intended use. Believe it or not, over 300 years ago it was used for "curing" diseases.

Although similar finds have been referred to as coins or medallions, they’re really known as ‘touch pieces’. In times of old, they were believed to cure diseases, bring good luck or perform other magical-like actions.

The recognition of touch pieces goes back to Ancient Rome when Emperors gave coins to those suffering in illness. In the times of kings and queens, many believed a royal touch could cure. After the touching, a ‘touch piece’ – like the one discovered – was often given as a reminder.

It’s easy to see how anyone who later recovered could have great fondness and even superstitious beliefs for their gold piece.

Experts dated the discovered gold touch piece back to James II, Kind of England (1685-88) in the 17th century. It’s a unique find as it may be the only one ever discovered in Wales.

The article reporting the find can be found at Evening Leader and is named Treasure found in field with metal detector.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew evans May 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

I have a gold touchpiece coin with 3 sailed ship faceing left CAR11 DGMB FRETHIREX stamped around the ship on the face, there is a winged st Michal killing a dragon with SOLI DEO GLORIA around edge looks like theres a gold stamp under ship and under the waves looks like it has jest been made

JASON June 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm


Geoffrey Taylor December 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Hi there,
I have the exact same coin set in a filigree setting for wearing on a neck chain or bracelet. It is stamped with five hallmarks, the sponsers mark is either GTI but it does resemble the Historic London Hallmark of 1689 like a trident “W” shape then the crown mark with 18 mark indicating it is 18 carat gold hallmarked prior to 1975, it then has the leopard head mark indicating assayed in London and lastly a diagonal “S” mark with upper tip arrowed pinpointing assay hallmark done in 1973. Total weight of coin in setting is 3.2g. Can you tell me how much this item is worth please?

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