Finder of Viking Coin Treasure Gets $600,000


A treasure hunter who discovered nearly 500 silver Viking coins by metal detecting on the Isle of Man will finally receive $600,000 in compensation.

Andy Whewell found 464 silver Viking coins, 26 silver ingots and an armlet in a field in Glenfaba in March 2003.

The coins were declared Treasure Trove in August of that year, with resulting expectations of receiving fair market value for the hoard.

However, Whewell and Manx National Heritage, the government agency responsible for protecting and promoting the cultural historical heritage of the Isle of Man, could not come to an agreement over the value of the coins and other artifacts.

According to Isle of Man Today, after several appraisals and a wait of nearly five years, an agreement was finally made for an amount of £300,000, or about $600,000 (US).

Andy Whewell wrote an article detailing his discovery. In his interesting narration, he describes how he uncovered the coins but didn’t have a container to carry them.


"I had to leave everything beside the refilled hole and walk back to my car for a container. Well, I actually ran all the way back. All I had was a cassette box. It seemed ages before I arrived back at the find spot, thinking all the time of the hoard I had left sitting in an open field."


Whewell provided the type of coins buried in the field:

  • Anglo-Saxon pennies (Aethelred II and Cnut) = 80,
  • Hiberno-Scandinavian pennies = 324,
  • One cut halfpenny,
  • ‘Irish Sea’ imitation pennies of Cnut’s quatrefoil type = 11,
  • Hiberno-Scandinavian/Manx transitional pennies = 30,
  • 12 pennies that appear to be related to the Hiberno-Scandinavian/Manx series
  • One Scandinavian imitation coin of Aethelred’s Long Cross type,
  • and 5 coins that were unidentified

Reportedly, Whewell will continue to look for more treasures with his metal detector.

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Five years is a long time to wait. $600 K doesn’t seem to be a lot for a large hoard either.

That all seems to be a reason for someone to not declare their find. If we want to retain our heritage I would think officials everywhere should move more quickly to finalize things and encourage people to do more hunting.

Just my 2 cents, but $600K would be better.

andrew smith

av found a coin at the side of the river. its a gold coink got a vikin ship in the middle and the other sides got a a mans head on it hes got a beared and long ish hair. some of the words on the coin say { 6aahn } {hmokpatia} IN SMALL NUMBERS 20 THEN BIG NUMBERS 50 THEN SMALL NUMBERS 00 IF ANY BODT NO ANY THING ABOUT IT DROP ME A EMAIL.