A rare Roman coin that was struck by the emperor Claudius more than 2,000 years ago is set to go under the hammer, fetching as much as £5,000. 

It comes following the discovery of the aureus in a pasture field in south Norfolk, near Diss

In January this year, Rob Turrell and his friend Jono had planned a day’s detecting on one of their regular spots. 

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Turrell found the rare aureus coin in a field near Diss

Over the past two years they have found a mix of Celtic and early Roman artefacts, but on this day Mr Turrell sensed that something exciting was going to happen. 

He said: "It was around 4pm, after Jono had left, that I decided to stop going methodically up and down the field and change direction and go across the field and finish for the day. 

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“Suddenly, beside a main road at the edge of the field, I got a positive signal on my metal detector. 

“About 10 inches down, I saw a gold coin in a clump of soil.  

“Not surprisingly, I was dumbstruck and sat there looking at it for the next 45 minutes unable to move as I realised, I had achieved my dream of finding a Roman gold aureus.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Turrell found the rare aureus coin in a field near Diss

Mr Turrell has been detecting for a decade and on this occasion was using a Garrett AT pro detector. He will be sharing 50pc of the proceeds from the sale with the landowner. He plans on buying new kit with money earned from the sale. 

The 38-year-old is also a full-time beekeeper and manages 67 beehives for surrounding estates during the summer while working with heavy machinery in the winter.  

His discovery of the aureus will be offered at Noonans Mayfair on Tuesday, July 18 in its sale of Ancient Coins and Antiquities, with an estimate of £4,000 to £5,000. 

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Turrell found the rare aureus coin in a field near Diss

Nigel Mills, a specialist in coins and artefacts at Noonans, explained how the coin would have been a month’s pay for a Roman soldier, and is likely to have been lost shortly after Claudius invaded Britain in AD 43. 

He added: “The coin is an aureus weighing 7.70 grams of pure gold, struck by the emperor Claudius in AD 41 to AD 42 with the portrait and name of his father Nero Claudius Drusus, a highly respected general and consul.  

“The reverse shows a triumphal arch surmounted with an equestrian statue of Drusus with 'DE GERMANIS’ across the architrave. This records his celebrated campaigns subjugating the Germanic tribes in 12 BC to 9 BC.  

“He was in fact renowned within the Roman army for defeating many of the Celtic chiefs in single combat before his untimely death in 9 BC after a riding accident."  

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Turrell found the rare aureus coin in a field near Diss

Mr Turrell added: “I'm a born and bred Diss boy and it’s always been a dream of mine to find something pretty damn epic like this. I hope this will be the start of the discovery of more decent finds. 

“I do this all over the county and this is honestly the pinnacle of my metal-detecting career so far.” 

Other amazing finds by metal detectorists in Norfolk in recent times include the extremely rare gold coin, known as a Leopard, discovered in Reepham, near Aylsham. 

The coin was found alongside a gold Noble in October 2019, with both coins bent in half.  

Despite the damage, the find was a great discovery due to the scarcity of this medieval gold coin. 

And back in 2003, in west Norfolk, the Sedgeford hoard was discovered inside a muddy cow's bone. It contained 20 gold coins dating from the 1st century and 19 other coins were found nearby on the Iron Age site.