Viking gold "part of the big jigsaw of the history" in Ireland

Metal detector enthusiast Tom Crawford had a good day recently when he discovered a Viking gold ingot and a medieval silver ring brooch in a farmer's field in County Down, Northern Ireland. The ingot dates to the 9th and 10th centuries, while the brooch is somewhat later. (photo)

"It is all part of the big jigsaw of the history of this country," Crawford said. The ingot is a rare find, one of only a few nuggets known from Ireland, according to experts. The artifact would have been used as currency during the Viking era, when small bits would have been chopped off as payment.