8

According to Guinness world records, the largest coin hoard ever found is one of 80,000 Roman coins in Brescello, Italy, in 1814 (coinsweekly says 1714). However, I stumbled across this Independent article from 1994 which refers to the Mirzakah II find of 1992-94:

A MILLION ancient silver coins - the second-largest hoard ever found - is likely to be melted down to make tourist trinkets because nobody wants to buy them.

It is understood that it consists of three tonnes of mainly silver coins, and 100 kilos of solid gold plates and jewellery.

Confirming the accuracy of this report is difficult; this is Afghanistan, so it's very complicated (warlords, plunder, illicit trading etc.) and I doubt if anyone will ever know how big this hoard is, or how much of it has been destroyed. Nonetheless, this UNESCO report by the numismatist Osmund Bopearachchi does seem to confirm that the find is much bigger than the Brescello one:

This is one of the largest ancient coin deposits ever attested in the history of mankind....According to my inquiries, it must have consisted of three to four tons of gold, silver and bronze coins, in other words about 500,000 specimens.

The number of coins can only be guessed at which probably why (as Orangesandlemons points out in his comment) Guinness world records doesn't acknowledge it.

In 2017, another huge find was reported in China:

A staggering 5.6 tons of Song Dynasty coins...

...the total number of coins was tallied at approximately 300,000 pieces.

If correct, this is bigger in terms of weight but smaller in terms of number of coins.

Both The Independent and Bopearachchi reports state that the Mirzakah II find is not the largest ever; these reports pre-date the China find so they must be referring to something else.

As Brescello doesn't seem to be the answer, what is the largest ever coin hoard or deposit found? Is there anything that surpasses any of these finds either in weight of coins or the number of coins found?

I am particularly interested in the large find (or finds) which The Independent and Osmund Bopearachchi alluded to (i.e. pre-1994).

All highlighting is mine.

  • 1
    Note that the million coins one would not have been confirmable, and GWR will have requirements around that – Display name Aug 22 '18 at 11:26
6

I found an article that describes a 7700 pound (3500 kg) hoard of coins in Huoluochaideng, China. Most of the coins are supposed to be more than 2000 years old, although the quantity is not specified in the article:

The coins were found in 3,000-year-old coin pits in the ancient town of Huoluochaideng, Lian Jilin, a researcher with the regional Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

Most of the hoard was "Huoquan" coins, commonly used in the Han Dynasty from 202 B.C. to A.D. 220, Lian said.

Archaeologists said they also unearthed more than 100 casting molds from the relics of a coin workshop dating to the rule of Emperor Wudi, 156 B.C. to 87 B.C.

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    The one you found is Han dynasty so it's not the same. Nice find which would be improved if you could add some details to your answer. – Lars Bosteen Aug 23 '18 at 11:03
4

I can't find the one you are looking for ("the large find (or finds) which The Independent and Osmund Bopearachchi alluded to") but the Midwest Megahoard is really big. It was found by a coin company called Littletoncoin.

Littleton bought the largest coin hoard ever, holding 1.7 million Indian Head cents and Liberty and Buffalo nickels! Hidden in the walls of a Midwest collector's house, the stash had been out of circulation since the 1950s and '60s. The coins, weighing 7.6 tons, were stored in canvas sacks and 55‑gallon drums.

It's also mentioned on another site. https://preferredcoinexchange.com/numismatic-news/most-notable-coin-hoards/

  • Not the one (or ones?) I'm looking for but this is really big as you say. Good find. I really googled this question a lot and never came across this hoard. So much for the google search engine! – Lars Bosteen Sep 12 '18 at 0:04
2

The largest find of coins seems to be

San José, is estimated to be worth about $1 billion (£662m) as of 2012, based on the speculation that it had up to 11 million 4-doubloons (11 million 8 escudos gold coins; 11 million coins of 27g of 92% gold totaling 8.8 million troy ounces AGW or $11.5 billion) and many silver coins on board at the time of its sinking, similar to its surviving sister ship, San Joaquín. The silver and gold from the mines of Potosí, Bolivia. San José is called the "Holy Grail of Shipwrecks"

It's not ancient, it's on the bottom of the sea, but it's big and presumably the "largest find of coins to date"!

  • 2
    That's 300 tons of gold. – John Dee Aug 22 '18 at 4:23
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    Interesting find but I don't think it counts as a hoard or deposit. Still, +1 for effort and because I learnt something. – Lars Bosteen Aug 22 '18 at 5:46
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    @LarsBosteen It's been incredibly frustrating to search for this info. Depending on language of the terms used for hoard/cache you always get "among the largest" "x-largest" etc combined with in "Israel", "Britain", "Brittany", a "suburb of Oslo"∞ without mentioning the true frame of reference most of the time and very finely localised to sound more impressive and 'relevant'. – LаngLаngС Aug 22 '18 at 8:59
  • Frustrating, you said it! :) Also, I only stumbled across the China one by chance - it didn't come up when I searched using terms such as 'largest coin hoard' and 'largest coin find'. – Lars Bosteen Aug 22 '18 at 9:04
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    It's an involuntary deposit. +1. – Aaron Brick Aug 22 '18 at 16:35
-1

Could be the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in India. This news report says $ 22 billion.

However, it is less than a thousand years old.

  • It's a lot of gold, but not just in coin form. – John Dee Aug 22 '18 at 4:26
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    Could you summarize the news story to answer the question? I'm not sure that the current text is responsive to teh question asked. OP asked for a hoard of coins, – Mark C. Wallace Aug 22 '18 at 9:21

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