The 34-year-old man, whose name was not released, said he found the gold "solidi" coins, dating from about 1,600 years ago, while taking his newly purchased metal detector out for a test spin in some woods near St. Albans, England, The Sun reported Wednesday.
The man said he took the coins back to the Berkhamstead, England, shop where he purchased the metal detector and learned they could be worth $161,660.
The man will be declared the owner of the coins if they are classified as "treasure" by the British Museum.
"Talk about beginner's luck. He had only been there three hours," the shop owner said.