Real-Life Pot o’ Gold Discovered During Dutch Construction Project

The gold and silver coins date to the 15th century.
Credit: Oasen

Sometimes you don’t need to follow a rainbow, but rather a drain pipe, to find a pot o’ gold.

That’s what happened for utility workers in the Netherlands, who stumbled across a centuries-old pot of gold earlier this month while laying down new pipes, according to news reports.

The remarkable find includes 500 coins — 12 of them gold and the rest silver — dating to the 15th century, which were nestled inside of a glazed, earthenware cooking pot, according to the NL Times.

Employees of Oasen, a drinking-water company, discovered the treasure on March 1, when they were laying down pipes in Hoef en Haag, a new town in the central province of Utrecht. As soon as they found the coins, the workers called Utrecht’s archeological hotline, which sent archaeologists to inspect the area and gather the artifacts. [Top 10 Rare U.S. Coins]

The prize pot also contained textiles, which may have once served as moneybags of sorts to hold the coins, Peter de Boer, an archaeologist at Omgevingsdienst Regio Utrecht (Environment Service Region Utrecht), told RTV Utrecht. The majority of the coins date to the 1470s and 1480s, and some have imagery depicting King Henry VI of England (and the disputed king of France), Pope Paul II, and David of Burgundy, who was bishop of Utrecht.

“Every coin in this treasure is a story in precious metal,” de Boer told RTV Utrecht. “Every gentleman gave out his ‘business card’ by way of a coin, and therefore, there is a lot to discover.”

Moreover, the coins may shed light on what happened to the medieval city of Hagestein after it fell in a siege in 1405, de Boer said. “In this sense, we now have a ‘pot full of stories,'” De Boer added.

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