Indian villagers flock to local riverbed in search of early 20th-century silver coins

Silver coins allegedly found in dry riverbed are believed to have been struck between 1904 and 1919

Amid a rumour of buried treasure, villagers near India’s Banganga River have begun searching the area in an attempt to find more Victorian-era silver coins.

The trove was allegedly discovered earlier this month by two labourers who claimed they found silver coins while working near the river, which began drying in 1996 because of a lack of rain. The coins depict the effigy of King George V, who was king of the U.K. and the British dominions as well as emperor of India from May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Villagers from several local areas have since descended on the area, from which they’ve claimed to pull about 50 coins using a variety of digging equipment.

SPREADING RUMOURS

According to a story published by the Times of India earlier this week, police and government officials have determined the discoveries to be rumours.

“We have enquired and not even a single coin was found,” local collector NK Gupta told the Times of India. “These are concocted stories of discoveries of old coins. These murmurs have been greatly exaggerated by a few villagers.”

Despite the claims of far-flung rumours, an anonymous police official told the Times of India about photographs of silver coins being shared on WhatsApp, a popular cross-platform instant messaging service.

“Every villager is referring about two labourers who reportedly found silver coins somewhere near Banganga River; however, we have not learned about the whereabouts of those two labourers yet,” an anonymous police official told the Times of India earlier this month.

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