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Offline ksightlerTopic starter
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« on: August 18, 2009, 11:53:49 pm »
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Iron Age Coin Find Ruled Treasure Trove

By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News
August 17, 2009







The largest find of Iron Age coins in Great Britain discovered in the past 160 years has been declared treasure trove at a coroner's inquest in Suffolk, England.

The find consists of 840 gold staters discovered in a field near Wickham Market, Suffolk, in March 2008. The initial discovery was made by Michael Dark with a metal detector.

Following British treasure trove laws, Dark notified authorities, who then dispatched archaeologists to the dig site. The coins were studied at the site, then removed to the British Museum for further examination. The bottom half of the jar in which the coins had been hidden was recovered.

However, it appears the rest of the jar was destroyed by farmers plowing the field at some time in the past. The coins were reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation to have been issued from about 40 B.C. to A.D. 15, the period just prior to the unsuccessful revolt against the Romans by Iceni Queen Boudicca.

According to a July 3 BBC release, "It is the largest haul of coins to be discovered in 150 years and could be worth up to ?500,000. Only a few hoards of similar Icenian coins, which depict a horse on one side, have ever been found. The Iceni lived in Norfolk, much of Suffolk, and parts of Cambridgeshire during the century before the Roman conquest in 43 C.E."

Archaeologists are suggesting the coins were buried about 25 years prior to the Roman invasion. However, the inquest failed to determine the reason for the burial of the hoard. Suffolk Coroner Dr. Peter Dean declared the find to be treasure since the coins are more than 300 years old and were likely buried to be hidden with the intent to recover them later rather than being lost by their owner.

At a time when countries such as Greece, Italy and Turkey have been enforcing laws banning the export of antiquities as being the cultural patrimony of these countries, the British treasure trove laws become even more relevant on the world stage as an example of how treasure finders can be encouraged to "do the right thing."

Under common law, treasure in the British Isles was traditionally defined as being anything gold or silver proved to be hidden with the intent to recover it later, but for which the ownership is now unclaimed and unknown.

Although, under this common law, such treasure was to pass to the crown, in fact, by custom, the commercial value of the find was rewarded to the finder. The Treasure Act of 1996 formalized this in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, defining treasure as being any object of at least 10 percent gold or silver and also being at least 300 years old.

Coins are the defined separately under the Treasure Act 1996. If coins are from the same find, are more than 300 years old and contain more than 10 percent gold or silver, the coins become defined as treasure. If the coins contain less than 10 percent gold or silver there must now be at least 10 coins in the find for these coins to be considered to be treasure.

The finder has 14 days to notify the local coroner of the discovery. This is followed by a process through which museums can take the treasure, compensating the finder at a value determined by an independent valuation panel, if the discovery is declared treasure.If, due to the nature of the find, the items found are determined to have been lost by chance, the finder takes possession of these items.

The 1996 law has led to a significant rise in the number of items declared treasure in the United Kingdom. In countries such as Greece, Italy and Turkey the lack of any compensation for a find has driven many of these privately discovered objects, including coins, into the black market.

The U.S. government does not currently lay claim to ownerless property, allowing the finder or the property owner to keep the find.


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Offline farmdigger
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 12:33:33 am »
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"The U.S. government does not currently lay claim to ownerless property, allowing the finder or the property owner to keep the find."

The U.S. doesnt have the need to with such a short history span.  Or am I wrong?

Seems like a pretty good system they have in place over there. What think you all?

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