Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Amateur 'stunned' after £1m find

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David Booth recalls finding £1m of treasure in a Stirlingshire field.

An Iron Age treasure hoard unearthed by a metal-detecting amateur has been unveiled.

The four gold Iron Age neck ornaments, or torcs, date from between the 1st and 3rd Century BC and are said to be worth an estimated £1m.

They were discovered in September by "first-time" metal-detector enthusiast David Booth in a field in Stirlingshire.

The find is the most important hoard of Iron Age gold in Scotland to date.

Mr Booth told BBC Scotland: "I was almost stunned.

One of the torcs
The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel will value the items

"I had an idea it was very valuable and rare stuff and it was the first thing I'd ever found really so it was really unbelievable.

"I basically parked the car up and got the metal detector out and picked a direction to set off and about seven steps later there it was. It was the first thing I came across."

And he admitted he did not understand the importance of his find.

He added: "I knew it was jewellery and I knew it was old but I didn't know the age of it."

The items were unveiled at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel will value the latest discovery.

Under Scots law, the Crown can claim any archaeological objects found in Scotland.

Largest hoard

Finders have no ownership rights and must report any objects to the Treasure Trove Unit.

But Mr Booth, who refused to speculate on the value of his find, might receive a reward equal to the value of the jewellery.

Metal detectorist Terry Herbert unearthed the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in a Staffordshire field in July.

The haul of about 1,000 items was officially declared to be treasure by a coroner.

Thousands of people queued to see the gold when it went on show in Birmingham.

The treasure is currently being valued in London.



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