Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
An OAP who discovered a treasure trove of 200-year-old coins in her back garden has had to move out of town over safety fears.
Hundreds of gold and bronze coins dating from Brazil’s colonial and imperial periods over 200 years ago were found in the back garden of an unnamed OAP in the Brazilian municipality of Colares last month.
The stash was named a “treasure” by the Colares municipal council, which sealed off the area in the hope that Brazil’s National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage would find more pieces, and also to deter treasure hunters from looting the site.
The sale of the archaeological pieces is prohibited, but they could potentially fetch a fortune if auctioned illegally.
The woman’s son, 50-year-old civil servant Hernani Junior, told local media of the stash: “Does it have a market value? It does, but people think it could be worth millions of reais (BRL).”
After news of the find spread, the 77-year-old was forced to move to another municipality after her property was targeted by fortune hunters.
Hernani told local media: “What could have been something cool ended up becoming a risk.”
The OAP and her 85-year-old sister, who she cares for, vacated the property and moved to the nearby city of Belem.
The last straw for the elderly woman was when a suspect trespassed into her sealed-off garden in search of loot and, after she spotted him, ended up breaking into her house and injuring her.
Hernani told local media: “The individual attacked her and left her with bruises on her face and head. After calling the neighbours, the man fled and even took her mobile phone. On the same day, I took my mum and aunt to Belem to guarantee their safety.”
It is believed that the site of the discovery may have been an important port during Brazil’s colonial and subsequent imperial period, which ended in 1889.
One of the unearthed pieces, dated to 1819, was produced at the National Mint in Rio de Janeiro and is worth between BRL 15,000 (GBP 2,060) and BRL 20,000 (GBP 2,747), according to historian Franck Coutinho.
The police are looking into reports that coins from the site are being sold illegally online.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.