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30-Year Quest Ends In $15 Million Gold and Silver Coin Treasure
Posted: 28 June 2012 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Thirty years ago, a farmer found a few Iron Age silver coins while working on his land in the island of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy. Now, after combing the soil with metal detectors for three decades, two treasure hunters have found a hoard of silver and gold coins, the biggest of its kind, valued at $15 million.

The treasure was inside a large block of clay. It contains 30,000 to 50,000 silver and gold Celtic coins dating from the 1st Century BC. The coins—which could have been buried to prevent Roman troops from getting them during Julius Caesar’s invasion of the British Islands—come from Armorica. They have been buried for more than 2,000 years. According to numismatic experts, each coin is worth 100 to 200 British Pounds ($156 to $311).

Now the treasure is at the Jersey Heritage Museum, where conservator Neil Mahrer is cleaning and investigating them. Mahrer says this is the biggest discovery of its kind: “This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting.”

If Mahrer is excited, imagine the joy of the discoverers, Reg Mead and Richard Miles. They spent thirty years of their lives trying to locate this fabled treasure using just metal detectors. Earlier this year, Mead and Miles found a stash of 61 coins, all of them silver except one made of gold.

The good news: there may be more. The bad news: the States of Jersey has to say who actually owns the treasure.

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Posted: 28 June 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It must really suck to find something like that after searching for so long only to have the government step in and say who gets to keep it.  I wonder if they get a finders fee or something?

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Posted: 28 June 2012 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In The Netherlands it also depends on what depth you find something. The deeper is was found the more of it is for the state.
Or something like that. Anyway, if you find something never ever let go of it. Put it in a sealed bankfault till the lawyers are finished. Otherwise you give it away and before you know it you never see it again.
Same goes for, say, a wallet full of money. Report it to the police and inform them that when they find the rightfull owner he/she can contact you. After a year it is all yours. However if you leave it at the police station and come back after a year it´s gone because you let go of it.
Things like that.

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Posted: 28 June 2012 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Unfairly Balanced - 28 June 2012 10:11 AM

In The Netherlands it also depends on what depth you find something. The deeper is was found the more of it is for the state.

You are not quite accurate there.

Depth has only relevance in this sense: Dutch law simply prohibits digging for artifacts below the ploughsoil without an excavation permit. You may remove finds from the surface and ploughsoil (the 10-20 cm of soil disturbed by ploughing) but if you dig below the ploughsoil, you are in breach of the law and will be fined as you are then conducting an illegal excavation.

In theory you have to report surface/ploughsoil finds within 3 days to the State Antiquities Service, but that is rarely done. You may keep the finds by the way, even if you report them they are not taken from you (a common misunderstanding). A researcher may ask to see them and inspect them, but they remain your property. Usually, things are just keyed into the database (coordinates, brief description, and the period the finds date to).

Considering treasure found in the ploughsoil: the finder has to share half of the monetary value with the landowner. The State may offer to buy the treasure, but you are not obliged to sell it to them (they usually do a good offer though). And of course, if you keep it, you have to pay tax on your find, after the monetary value has been determined.

Other countries have other laws, of course.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Most of the time the problem of depth is when people start legitimate digging for a drainpipe for instance.
And…  then they find something. By coincedence. In that case you´re in for a lenghty yes/no game with the state for a settlement.
But what LaMa said, it is forbidden to dig deeper than “the plowline” without a good cause (urgent repair to said drainpipe) and/or permit.

You may keep the finds by the way, even if you report them they are not taken from you (a common misunderstanding).

Goes btw for everything you find. A wallet on the street, or whatever. As long as you report it. Used to be at a policestation, but that´s going to change now. You can report found/lost things online nowadays. (Yes, LaMa I follow teletext, papers and dutch tv here, so that latest bit of news of today is as fresh as it gets wink  )
Report it, keep it and after a year it´s yours. A misconcepcion is that finders often think they have a legal right or something for a findersfee of 10%, unfortunatly, finderfee is at the discretion of the loser.

The State may offer to buy the treasure, but you are not obliged to sell it to them (they usually do a good offer though).

And most of the time, finds are not as dramatic as this one. So in most cases people are happy to sell it to the state or the museum that made an offer.

Other countries have other laws, of course.

Here on Menorca you are almost not even allowed to think of the word “metaldetector”. Let alone have one in your possecion. Doesn´t matter if you don´t use it, it´s simply forbidden. Every year some get confiscated. Parents often think that the little toy ones for their kids is ok, but it isn´t. And it makes for very bad start of your holiday.
And the fines are high.

 

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