The coin was aggregated to a piece of metal buried in silt, and proved to be a gold chervonets minted during the reign of Czar Boris Godunov between 1598 and 1605, according to a report on Russian TV channel Moscow 360.

The term chervonets originally referred to any gold coin used as currency in early Czarist Russia but the diver’s find was said to have been one of only six found to date that were issued as a medal for valour, hence the estimated value.

The diver’s name was not revealed because, as the broadcaster pointed out, under Russian law anyone engaging in unlicensed archaeological activities and interfering with historical artefacts can face not only a large fine but up to four years’ jail.

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