A Toddler Uncovered a Mystical and Rare Treasure From Long Ago

By: Lilli Keeve | Last updated: Apr 23, 2022

As children, we all were on the hunt for buried treasure. Finding a coin in the grass was nothing short of miraculous and something to run home with glee about. A small boy named James made the discovery of a lifetime when he was out and about one day, and it would change him and his family’s life forever.

Sometimes, life can be stranger than fiction. James’ story goes to show that you can start the day as just a normal toddler, and end it as a prestigious discoverer of a mystical locket.

A Lifelong Hobby

Jason Hyatt had been a metal detecting hobbyist for 15 years before finally deciding to take his three-year-old out for the day to hunt for treasure. Like any parent who wants to share their hobby with their children, Jason was excited to show him the ropes. 

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So, son, father, and grandfather set out in search of fun treasures on a nice bonding day in Essex, Britain.

An Immediate Discovery

Little James was only three years old when he grabbed a hold of the metal detector for the very first time. Imagine the surprise of grandfather, father, and son when the metal detector started to go off.

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According to little James, “It went beep, beep, beep,” at the sound his metal detector made. Any child would be elated at the sound of a treasure discovered. At most, one would be expecting to find a coin or a metal screw. But this is not what young James uncovered.

Life Changing Treasure

James had only been handling the metal detector for around five minutes, according to his grandfather. Metal detectors can detect about 12-18 inches in the ground, so the three generations of men began to dig in the ground and uncover what James had found.

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They did not not have to dig long to get to the heart of what James had unintentionally and miraculously uncovered in just a matter of moments.

A Mysterious Pendant

When they reached down the eight inches where the ancient treasure lay, they found a gold and glinting object that they immediately pulled out from the ground. What they found was an old looking locket.

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It looked like it had been there a long while, and it looked like it was very old. But where did it come from? This is where the true mystery lies. 

A Golden Discovery

The pendant was about an inch long, and they came to find, was 73% gold. For reference, 18 carat gold is 75%, so it is suffice to say that the Hyatt boys had certainly stumbled on a real treasure.

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The 8.68-gram locket also had beautiful engravings on it, but it wasn’t until they took it to the experts that they became aware of the true nature of James’ discovery. And boy, was it wild!

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Blast From the Past

Engraved on the locket were the five wounds of Christ and the Virgin Mary, or Saint Helena. According to an expert at the British Museum, this was a hallmark of the time and of medieval piety.

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The names of the wise men, Iaspar, Melcior, and Baltasar were inscribed on the sides of the pendant. The back of the pendant has four eyes weeping with a heart in the center.

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16th Century Gold

The Medieval locket that little James had uncovered was produced in the 16th century. The Medieval piety of the time was a form or belief that placed an extra emphasis on a person’s good deeds.

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The pendant was a representation of those characteristics. It is a wonder who was the owner of such a pendant!

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Gold In Medieval Times

During Medieval times, gold was seen as an incredibly prestigious metal. The Middle Ages mainly used gold for prestigious gifts, bribes, or to buy expensive goods.

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Gold was also held in high regard by the Catholic church, as they saw it as a representation of eternity and light. The depiction of Virgin Mary (or Saint Helena) and the depiction of Christ on the locket that James found begins to take shape.

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James Had Been Lucky Before

According to his dad, Jason, James has already proved himself to be a luck magnet. “My son is one of the luckiest people ever. If we go to the doctor he’ll put his hand down the side of the sofa and pull out a tenner.”

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It makes sense then, that a toddler with a metal detector for the first time in his life would discover a golden locket from the Middle Ages! Who better?

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The Locket Will Be Investigated

Any treasure found in the U.K. must be investigated by a treasure-trove inquest. Once the inquest is completed then any proceeds from the sale of the Medieval relic will be split between the Hyatt family, as well as the owner of the field it was found in.

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The likelihood of someone using a metal detector in the exact location of an incredibly rare pendant had been quietly sitting eight inches beneath the surface is nothing short of magic.

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