There are metal detectors may emerge What may be the “largest hoard of medieval coins” ever discovered Scotland, 8,407 coins could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds on the antiques market. The substantial hoard – which includes hundreds of silver pieces from Britain and Europe – was discovered near the village of Dunscore in Dumfriesshire last year. Most of the coins in the hoard are Edward I and II pennies dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, officials said. A complete inventory of the finds is in progress.
In Scotland, the Treasure Trove Unit for the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancers is responsible for recording new archaeological finds. Their goal is to record and preserve relevant materials for the public good.
An expert source told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “This is an absolutely amazing find. After the initial discovery, the site was excavated by officers from the Treasure Trove Unit, alongside archaeologists from National Museums Scotland.
They continued: “Now every coin is listed. This requires identifying, photographing, measuring and weighing each one.”
A spokesman for the Treasure Trove Unit added: “The Dunscore hoard is one of the largest medieval coin hoards to be found in Scotland since the 19th century. It contains a mixture of Scottish, English, Irish and Continental silver coins.
In 2014 the Dunscore Heart was discovered 20 miles from Balmachy, known as the Galloway Heart. The trove is considered to be the finest collection of Viking Age artefacts ever found in Britain – and is worth almost £2 million.
The Dunscore hoard is part of a trove of treasures found in Scotland, which has seen metal detecting become popular during the pandemic.
According to officials, newly discovered artifacts are now being handed over at a rate of more than 200 each week. In fact, several discoveries in the past two years indicate that the treasure trove unit needs more staff.
A Crown Office report published earlier this year noted that “due to lockdown issues and increased public interest in the use of metal detectors, recovered artefacts are awaiting assessment”. In fact, the Treasure Trove Unit reported picking up 12,263 items this year — including 900 since October.
By comparison, only 1,551 artifacts were recorded in all of 2019. Currently, the backlog of items to be reviewed is over 5,000 items.
Under Scottish law, any newly discovered artefact believed to be of archaeological significance – whether made of precious metals or not – technically belongs to the Crown and must be reported to the authorities. However, the Crown does not always exercise its claim.
The decision was made by reminder to the King and the Lord Treasurer on the advice of the Scottish Archaeological Discoveries Appropriation Committee. When a claim is exercised, a payment known as an “ex gratia award” is made to the inventor.
The law is slightly different in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the Treasury Act 1996 applies. Under the law, treasure is defined as being at least 300 years old and composed of at least 10 percent gold or silver.
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The rules for coins under the Treasure Act are different, with two coins dating back at least 300 years and containing less than 10 percent gold or silver, at least. 10 coins to qualify.
Other items considered treasure include two or more prehistoric base metal objects found side by side, and intentionally hidden objects less than 300 years old and made of gold or silver, whose owners or heirs cannot be determined.
The Act also covers items related to any other item that is considered treasure. After potential treasure is reported and turned over to the local coroner, an investigation is conducted to determine whether or not the object or object meets the above criteria.
If the object is found to be treasure, the finder is obliged to offer it for sale in a museum. The sale price is determined by a panel of independent experts called the Treasure Appraisal Committee.
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