(JTA) — Nearly $50,000 worth of gold coins believed to have been buried during or immediately after World War II were discovered in Germany.
Using a metal detector, an amateur archaeologist found 10 coins in a hollow under a tree near the town of Lueneburg; professionals then excavated 207 more, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The coins from several European countries date from 1831 to 1910. Two aluminum seals bearing swastikas and the words “Reichsbank Berlin 244” were discovered with the coins.
“This was all found under a pine tree that is around 50 years old … and that must have grown afterwards … so we know it must have been buried in the last days of the war or shortly afterwards,” Mario Pahlow, a German archaeologist, told Reuters.
Pahlow and other archaeologists studying the coins said they likely were stolen from the Nazi government’s gold reserves.
The coins were found in October, but the discovery was not made public until Wednesday.