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What to do if you find buried treasure

What should you do if you find buried treasure, can you keep it and how much of its value will you get? We explain the rules.

The proverbial pot of gold. The Government says that the penalty for not reporting a find that you believe to be treasure is up to three months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

While this may seem mean to the lucky treasure hunter, these rules are designed to make sure that valuable treasure finds of historic importance are reported and not lost to the nation.

This is the Department of Culture's advice on what you should do if you find treasure:

1. Under The Treasure Act 1996, all treasure finds must be reported to the Coroner in the relevant district within 14 days of the day of discovery, or within 14 days of the day on which you realised it might be treasure, for example after having it identified.

2. Your district Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) will take responsibility for the find, talk to you about where you made the find and give you a receipt for it.

3. If it turns out not to be treasure, the FLO will inform the Coroner and it may be returned to you without an inquest.

4. If it is treasure, then the FLO will refer it on to the British Museum or the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, who will decide if they or any other museum wishes to purchase it.

5. If no museum wishes to buy it then the Secretary of State will disclaim it and it will be returned to you, pending any dispute with the landowner.

Treasure Valuation Committee

The Treasure Valuation Committee establishes the likely market value of each treasure find. A reward of this value can then be made to the finders of treasure and to the owners of find sites unless there are grounds for no reward or a reduced award to be made.

The Committee is made up of independent antiques or coin experts and includes an official from the leading metal detectors' body.

For the full rules on discovered treasure follow this link

Happy treasure hunting!!!

Source: This is Money [November 27, 2010]


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