Fri | May 25, 2018

Priceless buried treasure found

Published:Thursday | February 28, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Workmen found these old coins while ridding an open lot of ruins for the construction of a car park in downtown Kingston yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator

When 19-year-old Michael Taylor set out to work on Tuesday morning, he had no idea he was about to uncover a time capsule with a priceless treasure buried over a century ago that would blow him away.

Toiling in the heat of the morning sun alongside fellow workmen to clear an open lot with partial ruins at the corner of Mark Lane and Sutton Street in downtown Kingston, the young man used a sledge hammer to demolish a concrete column, only to discover what appeared to be a vault entrenched in the structure.

In awe, he put his tools aside and summoned the other workmen.

They gingerly opened the vault and saw a rusty vial. When they tried to remove the vial, it broke into pieces and its treasured content of what appeared to be silver coins, a medallion and a parchment paper scattered to the ground.

"We tried to take up the paper but it just crumble. We saw seven coins and the pendant and we say this is really something major," the teen recalled, as the men displayed their precious find to The Gleaner.

The coins were partly rusted, but from what could be seen they date back to as early as 1860 and as late as 1902. A few partial words could be seen on the disintegrated paper, with 'queen' as the only complete word. While the medallion had the engraved image of a man holding a Bible with 'IHS' and the arched wording 'Ignace de Loyola/AD Majorem dei Gloriam'. Saint Ignace de Loyola was the founder of the Society of Jesus, whose motto, 'AD Majorem dei Gloriam' means 'for the glory of God'.

"It is amazing to know that we find something like this, 'cause none of us never born yet when whoever bury this treasure. Is like part of history. Is like it telling us something of what happened in the past," noted Taylor.

The men agreed as they paused from clearing the site designated as a car park for the Jamaica Agricultural Society.

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