8-year-old unearths rare Roman-era silver coin in school playground

A nine-year-old boy in Germany has made a remarkable discovery while playing in a sandbox: a rare 1800-year-old Roman coin.

The child, named Bjarne, discovered the object in August 2022 while playing in the sandbox of the elementary school in the city of Bremen.

The fourth grader rushed home to show the coin to his parents, who contacted the authorities.

Archaeologists confirmed that the coin was a Roman denarius minted during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who ruled from 161 to 180 AD.

The silver denarius weighed 2.4 grams, according to Dr Halle, and its weight shows that it was minted during a ‘time of coin deterioration’.

Due to inflation, the silver content was significantly reduced during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 

Irrespective of this, the silver denarius could have been used as a means of payment from the province of Britannia to Syria and North Africa to the Rhine. 

The specimen could have ended up in the south of Bremen as a souvenir or as washed up flotsam, said De Halle.

‘We are glad that Bjarne was so careful,’ said Dr Uta Halle, the Bremen state archaeologist in front of media representatives.

The find was ‘something very special’ as there have only been two comparable coin finds from the Roman Empire in the city of Bremen.

Bjarne won’t be able to keep the coin but was presented with a written commendation and two archaeology books as a reward.

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