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Treasure Finder Awaits Big Pay Day

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Treasure Finder Awaits Big Pay Day

One of the most astounding treasure finds in Britain's rich history of such discoveries is finally close to being finalized—meaning the funds are ready to be split evenly between the treasure finder and the owner of the land where it was found, as required by the country's Treasure Act.

Just a portion of the Lenborough Hoard
Portable Antiquities Scheme (UK)[CC BY 2.0]

Paul Coleman, the man with a metal detector who found a staggering 5,251 Anglo-Saxon silver coins two years ago, has agreed to his share of a £1.35 million haul for the unbelievable hoard.

“When I saw the first few coins, I was really excited because I knew I had found a hoard; however, the excitement grew and grew as the size and importance of the find became apparent,” he said shortly after the discovery.

"Highly Valued Treasure"

Silver penny from the reign of Ethelred II "The Unready" Portable Antiquities Scheme (UK)[CC BY 2.0]
Silver penny from the reign of Ethelred II "The Unready"
Portable Antiquities Scheme (UK)[CC BY 2.0]

The coins were found in Lenborough, Buckinghamshire by Coleman while he was combing across a field with the Weekend Wanderers, a metal detecting club to which he belongs, in 2014. The coins were buried in a lead sheet and date to the late 10th and early 11th centuries. They bear the likenesses of a pair of kings of England: King Ethelred the Unready and King Canute.

For the time being, the massive hoard of coins are being held at the British Museum in London. However, the Buckinghamshire County Museum nearby where the coins were discovered is actively raising funds in an attempt to purchase the hoard. A spokesman for the British Museum called it "one of the more highly valued treasure finds" since the Treasure Act was introduced in 1996.

Although thrilled treasure finder Mr. Coleman has expressed his belief that the find is worth more than the £1.35 million ($1.94 million), he said that "it would probably be very difficult to get the value increased anyway and we would rather see the collection go to a museum, rather than separated and sold to collectors around the world."

Silver penny from the reign of King Cnut (Canute) Portable Antiquities Scheme (UK)[CC BY 2.0]
Silver penny from the reign of King Cnut (Canute)
Portable Antiquities Scheme (UK)[CC BY 2.0]

Some experts have suggested that the significant hoard could actually be worth £2 million to £3 million. Nobody would blame Coleman for taking his half of the museum's appraisal, of course. (As per the Treasure Act, the finder and landowner split the proceeds down the middle, 50-50.) However, the landowner has yet to formally agree to the valuation.


The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

About the Author

Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Analyst, Commodities and Finance
Managing Editor

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.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in CoinWeek, Advisor Perspectives, Wealth Management, Activist Post, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.

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