Trove of ancient Roman Empire coins discovered by divers off coast of Sardinia

Up to 50,000 Roman coins have been discovered by divers off the coast of Sardinia.

The coins, which date back to the first half of the fourth century, were found on the sea bed not far from the north-east shore of the Mediterranean island.

According to an initial estimate, made on the basis of the overall weight of the find, the number of large bronze coins - called follis - is between 30,000 and 50,000.

Follis coins were introduced around 294 AD by the Roman emperor Diocletian.

They were initially discovered by a private citizen who, during a dive, noticed some metallic remains at a shallow depth and later notified authorities.