Old Coins and Gold Declared Treasure in Devonshire Yet Again
It's astonishing how many treasure finds have been discovered in the U.K. in the vicinity of the English county of Devon (Devonshire) alone.
This one community, located in the southwest corner of England, has seen an unbelievable number of treasure discovered in just the past several years.
Many individual cases must be heard during inquests by the local coroner each week. Sometimes, according to a report in Devon two weeks ago, a dozen or more inquests may be handled in a single day.
Quite a few of the finds being considered at recent inquests actually occurred two or three years ago—or more.
The long delays in receiving an inquest to determine if a find qualifies as treasure should give you an idea of how many historical artifacts are being dug up all the time in the U.K., especially in Devon.
If you weren't jealous enough already: In virtually every case, the historic artifacts are hidden only a few inches beneath the dirt!
In order to qualify as "treasure" as defined by British law, an object must be at least 300 years old and be composed of at least 10% precious metal.
After being confirmed as treasure, all such artifacts are purchased by museums. The buyer is oftentimes the world-famous British Museum.
Interestingly, the items found can range in date from the medieval period to the Roman Empire, and on deep into antiquity. This is one of the great advantages provided by Britain's rich and extensive historical record.
Just last week, a group of 100 Roman silver coins; a medieval gold ring; and two sets of gold bracelets from the Bronze Age were all declared treasure within the span of the same week.
It was reported locally in Devonshire, where the reputation for discovering treasure is understandably strong.
A little over a year ago, an array of different Bronze Age jewelry and copper weapons were found in the county.
The area also yielded silver coins from the Elizabethan-era (late 16th century) that were uncovered by metal detectors in 2015.
In fact, 2015 was a busy year for the treasure coroner's office. A group of silver half crowns dating to the late 17th century were found nearby.
Half crowns are British coins that carried a denomination of one-eighth pound sterling. They were minted using silver or gold (in much smaller amounts, obviously) at various intervals.
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Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.