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Diadems are Forever

Funded on Spacehive 18 October 2018

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Diadems are Forever

Diadems are Forever

Chelmsford Museum By Chelmsford Museum

Save the Oldest Piece of Gold in Essex! A local metal detectorist has discovered a rare treasure – a golden diadem from the early Bronze Age. Help keep it at Chelmsford Museum, for everyone to enjoy.

Chelmsford Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 18 Oct 2018!

Curating a museum is so much more than looking after old things. It’s about telling stories – and we’ve got an amazing one for you about buried treasure. A local metal detectorist was searching a ploughed field in the Danbury area in Chelmsford, when his device alerted him to metal nearby. Removing the earth, he revealed something bright amongst the dark soil: a rolled-up strip of shining Bronze Age gold (2500BC). Possibly the earliest piece of metalwork in Essex! If unwound, the gold strip — a Diadem — would go around someone’s head and would have belonged to a powerful person . The rolling-up suggests it was ritually ‘decommissioned’ – perhaps even buried with its owner. Chelmsford Museum needs to raise £3,000 to save the diadem, commission an unrolled replica and ensure the exhibit takes pride of place in the newly renovated museum. With your help, we can keep it on free public display in our stunning new First Settlers experience room.

What we'll deliver:

  • We will purchase the Bronze Age golden diadem, securing a significant treasure and part of Chelmsford's heritage.
  • Pass the diadem to a metal analyst who will tell us more about its origins
  • Create new interpretation, telling the story of the diadem and the Beaker culture.
  • Commission a replica,showing what the unrolled diadem would have looked like and how it would have been worn.
  • Display it in a secure and accessible environment at the newly renovated Chelmsford Museum
  • The purchase will generate civic pride and reinforce that our Museum belongs to the people of Chelmsford.

Why it's a great idea:

Chelmsford Museum strives to give local residents ownership and pride in their heritage and a strong sense of community. Storytelling is a vital component of this work. The purchase of the Diadem doesn't just unearth another artefact for our museum collections — but a significant story about out city's history too. There may be decoration on the inside, but the Diadem cannot be unrolled or it could be damaged forever. Perhaps future technology will allow us to unroll or see inside it. In the meantime, funding will allow us to pass the diadem to a metal analyst to tell us more about its origins. The diadem is dated to the very start of the Bronze Age and one of the earliest pieces of metalwork in Essex, from a time when people were just beginning to use copper and gold — it is an extremely rare find. Our archaeological displays are currently undergoing a Lottery-funded refurbishment, so the timing of this acquisition is perfect. It can take pride of place in the new display.

Steps to get it done:

  • Purchase the Diadem for the Community of Chelmsford
  • Pass the diadem to a metal analyst who will tell us more about its origins
  • Get the Diadem cleaned by a professional Conservator
  • Create new interpretation, telling the story of the diadem and the Beaker Culture.
  • Host a series of opening events to celebrate reopening the museum, including a special preview for crowdfund investors
  • Put the Diadem on public display at the refurbished Museum

If you would like to know more about our campaign please get in touch with the team at the museum on or 01245 605700 There are some rewards available for those who donate: £All Amounts – Name to appear on a roll of honour on a touchscreen near the Bronze Age case once the museum reopens next summer The first 60 people to donate £25 or more will receive an invitation to a private view of the Diadem before opening and a talk by a Bronze Age specialist from the British Museum £100+ An invitation to the media launch of the newly redeveloped Chelmsford Museum – be first to see the new displays and to walk through the story of Chelmsford from the Ice Age to the current day Business sponsorship – Talk to us! There is an opportunity for one organisation to sponsor to this exhibit. In return the sponsor will receive a plaque next to the item alongside the Friends of the Museum, an opportunity to speak at the private view and a public thanks in subsequent PR.


Location Chelmsford

About the space

Custom Location


Chelmsford City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £4,649

Purchasing the golden diadem from the detectorist - £1,800 (39%)
Metal Analysis - £1,500 (32%)
Commissioning an unrolled replica diadem and preparing interpretation & photography - £900 (19%)
Get the Diadem cleaned by a professional Conservator - £168 (4%)
Talk on the Bronze Age - £100 (2%)
Other - £181 (4%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Purchasing the golden diadem from the detectorist
Metal Analysis
Commissioning an unrolled replica diadem and preparing interpretation & photography
Get the Diadem cleaned by a professional Conservator
Talk on the Bronze Age
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • 1) Running a community engagement exercise with schools and community groups across Chelmsford, to share the story of the diadem far and wide. 2) To commission an animated story to bring the diadem to life - allowing its story to be shared online.

Total £4,649

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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