Leeuwarden resident Robbert Velt found the fibula while metal detecting in a field in the municipality of Noardeast-Fryslân, Omrop Fryslân reports.
The 24 carat brooch, which was made from a golden coin, depicts a cross on one side, while the other side features an inscription that translates to ‘King Philip IV 1328-1350 France’. Mr Velt says in all his years of ‘history hunting,’ he has never seen anything like it.
The wearer may have lost the brooch because the needle catcher and needle holder were damaged. The cross engraving may have served as a repellent against pagan spells, Velt speculates. “It is not a coincidence that the cross is placed at the back, in the direction of the wearer,” he says.
Velt also suspects that the artefact has something to do with the Crusades because cross that decorates the fibula resembles the filigree work of Arab coins brought to Europe by crusaders a century earlier.
Last year, archaeologists excavating a terp a few kilometers north of the city of Groningen found a fibula (in the above picture) which was mainly worn by soldiers in the Roman army at the time of the emperor Augustus.