BBC reports that 38 year old Jennie Fitzgerald volunteered to clean section of beach on the east coast of England. She was picking up trash when she spotted a piece of wood with "an unusual shape to it." When the medical secretary took a closer look, she realized it wasn’t just a piece of wood. "I noticed it had this brass lock on it and it was a treasure chest," she recalls.
Fitzgerald’s husband met her at the beach and they carried the chest back to the cottage where they were staying for the weekend. The lock was still intact, but they were able to pry open the bottom of the shoebox-sized chest. Inside were some gems, a pocket watch, a perfume bottle, and over 100 coins dating from the Victorian era back to medieval times.
The family has reported the find to local officials, who will have it examined by experts at a museum and of course the landowner of the beach will be notified as well. But even if they aren’t going to be rich, Fitzgerald is pretty happy having found the chest. “I don't think I've fully taken it in yet. It's amazing,” she says. “It's a once-in-a-lifetime find. What are the chances of that?”