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.
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”
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: 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.”
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.
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