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  1. #1
    gb
    Mar 2009
    17

    Should we report treasure that we find?

    I have just seen this from the UK. A lady prosecuted for finding some real treasure and not reporting it.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...-treasure.html

    A woman who found a 700-year-old silver 'coin' whilst digging in her garden as a child has become the first in the country to be convicted of failing to hand in suspected treasure.

    Kate Harding, 23, was prosecuted under the Treasure Act after she ignored orders to report the coin-like artefact to a coroner.

    A court heard the silver piedfort marking Charles IV's ascension to the French throne in 1322 was discovered by Miss Harding 14 years ago as she worked in the garden with her mother at their home in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

    Following her mother's death a short time later, Harding kept the 1.4gram item as a memento until she eventually showed it to museum experts last year.

    The silver 'coin' was identified as a piedfort dating from 1322, which, while not of great financial value, was of historical significance.

    Experts are unsure of exactly what piedforts were used for but agree they were not intended to function as currency.

    While they are designed around existing coins of the period, they were substantially thicker and it was has been suggested they were used as guides for mint workers, or more likely, reckoning counters for officials.

    Under the Treasure Act 1996, treasure is defined in basic terms as any single object at least 300 years old which is not a coin but has a precious metal content of at least ten per cent, or when found, is one of at least two coins in the same find of that age and metallic content.

    The Act gives a finder 14 days to inform the local coroner of potential treasure and creates an offence of failing to carry out that duty where this is not followed.

    The prosecution in Ludlow, Shropshire, serves as a warning to so-called 'nighthawkers', who trespass on land under cover of darkness and sell on any finds unearthed using their metal detectors without declaring them to unscrupulous dealers.


    More...


    Magistrates heard how she ignored numerous calls and letters from Ludlow Museum advising her to report the piedfort to the district coroner once it had been identified in February last year.

    Museum staff then notified Anthony Sibcy, the coroner for South Shropshire, who informed West Mercia Police.

    In a police interview Harding claimed she had lost the piedfort.

    Mr Edwards said: 'When asked why she had not reported the find she said, 'I don't know, I just had enough going on at the time.'

    Brendan Reedy, defending, said, the piedfort was believed to be of no significant financial value.

    'We are not talking about something here that is worth anything that is quite important.', he said.

    'I don't think there are going to be queues around the block of people to see it.'
    The silver piedfort marked Charles IV's ascension to the French throne in 1322

    Treasure: The silver piedfort marked Charles IV's ascension to the French throne in 1322

    Mr Reedy added that Harding had failed to notify the coroner because of 'disorganisation' on her part and that the artefact had a sentimental value to her.

    Harding, who lives with her boyfriend in a flat on the outskirts of Ludlow, admitted having an object that is believed to have been treasure and not reporting it to the coroner.

    She faced a maximum penalty of three months in jail or a fine, or both, but walked free from court on Wednesday with a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £25 of the £300 costs. Harding was not at home to comment yesterday.

    Dr Michael Lewis, Deputy Head, Department Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, confirmed that the case was the first known of its kind in the country to have resulted in prosecution.

    He said: 'This is a landmark case and it sends a clear message to those who fail to report Treasure. It shows that the police and the coroners' service give Treasure and archaeological heritage law a high profile and will take proactive measures against those that disregard it.'

    Coroners are the only individuals with the authority to declare an item as treasure and Mr Sibcy will now hold an inquest involving a jury to determine it's status. Once it is confirmed as treasure, the piedfort will be valued.

    The only three other piedforts found in the UK were all from France. The most recent was discovered in West Clandon, Surrey, in 2007, and was subsequently purchased by the British Museum for £1,800.

    Barrie Cook, the British Museumís Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Coinage, said piedforts could never have been used as currency as they are were heavy.

    He said: 'Medieval coins are very thin, but these are several times as thick.'

    The Treasure Act was drawn up to replace the medieval law of Treasure Trove, which required inquest jurors to 'read dead minds' in determining whether items had been deliberately buried - in which case they were treasure trove and property of the crown - or accidentally lost.

  2. #2

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?



    Typical....how would she know that it would be classed as an Artifact and not a coin this is were the Treasure act fails, while I agree with the general principle of the act, certain things should be left out. who in there right mind would declare 2 Eddy pennies or similar, as treasure, ilegal if you don't , it's cr@p

    SS
    Don't piss down my back, then tell me it's raining.

  3. #3

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    I think this a little harsh, as someone who doesn't metal detect is unlikely to know the Law on Treasure. Also they argue its not a coin & 'piedforts could never have been used as currency as they are were heavy'. However, it was more token like & could have been exchanged & they have no proof either way, as it was pretty damn close to a coin. So overall, this girl has been made an example of when many true criminals get away with it. ie. those hight hawking on monumented sites.

    But in answer to your question - yes I declare all treasure.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT, YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' - me 25/06/08
    How do you find Gold coins? Reply: 'By finding lots of Silver ones..'
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground.' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.

  4. #4

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    The point is not her ignorance of the treasure act or the coin, it's the fact she ignored a court order (or the equivalent from the museum), and that is why she is being made an example of. It could have been parking tickets, and in many cases it no doubt is, we just don't read about it because it's not a first.

  5. #5

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Patch
    The point is not her ignorance of the treasure act or the coin, it's the fact she ignored a court order (or the equivalent from the museum), and that is why she is being made an example of. It could have been parking tickets, and in many cases it no doubt is, we just don't read about it because it's not a first.
    true, that was kinda dumb
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT, YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' - me 25/06/08
    How do you find Gold coins? Reply: 'By finding lots of Silver ones..'
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground.' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.

  6. #6
    us
    Jan 2010
    Vegas baby!
    EuroTek Pro/Explorer II/Safari/ACE 250,Classic IDX
    91
    34 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Interesting how she found it 14 years ago, which would put the find right around 1996, the years the law was enacted. I wonder if she can claim it was found before the rule took effect? I also fail to understand (being from the good ol' USA) that something you find on your own property that you are not trying to sell, can get you put in jail.


  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    115 times
    eating

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Nice find.
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  8. #8

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Quote Originally Posted by renogeoff
    Interesting how she found it 14 years ago, which would put the find right around 1996, the years the law was enacted. I wonder if she can claim it was found before the rule took effect? I also fail to understand (being from the good ol' USA) that something you find on your own property that you are not trying to sell, can get you put in jail.


    Obviously someone said something about her find and once that happens, and the "wrong" people find out, and the ball starts to roll.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Please leave a ring after the beep!

    Sep 2004
    Aiken, SC
    Ace 250
    3,107
    19 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Just ridiculous!

    HH,
    Moon
    Even the mightiest Oak in the forest is just a little nut that held it's ground!!

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2005
    south charleston, wv
    White's DFX 300, Garrett Infinium PI, Fisher CZ6A
    342
    18 times

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    This is the Obama style of government....statist/Socialistic/Communistic

    If we continue our current path, we can expect the same absurdities, and loss of freedom in the U.S.

    Britain has ceased to be a free country.

    The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.
    Ex animo

  11. #11

    Nov 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Whites Silver Eagle, DFX, Shadow X-2
    3,884
    291 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Sad, but this incident that was reported is a drop in the bucket to what happens in the good old USA every day. Here we are called looters, when the Archis are in a good mood. We seriously need to be more like our English brethren in regards to detecting laws.
    Carl

  12. #12

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    Quote Originally Posted by chirper97
    This is the Obama style of government....statist/Socialistic/Communistic

    If we continue our current path, we can expect the same absurdities, and loss of freedom in the U.S.

    Britain has ceased to be a free country.


    Because of the Treasure act it is no longer a free country?

  13. #13
    us
    Dec 2009
    Conowingo, MD
    Bounty Hunter 505
    363
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    To all my British friends,

    resist this evil law! Send me any and all treasure you find. I will keep it safe for you. I will send you pictures of it whenever you want. You will be able to monitor its progress on e-bay. We will show the crown!

    Stickin' it to the man is fun on any continent (or island).

    Please do not feel the need to thank me, I am only trying to help with your resistance.

    Fathead

  14. #14

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?



    If anyones interested here's our fabulous Treasure act

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1996..._19960024_en_1

    SS
    Don't piss down my back, then tell me it's raining.

  15. #15
    us
    Mar 2009
    North Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett ProPointer
    1,854
    35 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)

    Re: Should we report treasure that we find?

    I love my freedoms here in the USA!
    SkyPirate

 

 
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