By Jay Turner for PCGS ……
In September 2021, the news of a treasure find appeared in many media outlets. For one couple, the dream of finding a golden buried treasure trove became a reality.
In 2012, a 60-year-old couple from Paris bought a secondary residence in Brittany, located nearly 300 miles away. The residence they chose was a manor house in the town of Plozévet. The home needed renovations, and construction soon started to remodel the property.
In 2019, the owner of the manor, François Mion, was in Paris when he received a call about his property urging him to take a look at the discovery. The next day he arrived by train to be shown a metal box that had been walled up between stones and had been discovered by three stonemen working on one of the outbuildings onsite. Inside the metal box were 154 gold coins dating from the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. A few days later, a purse would also be found containing another 85 gold coins inside, bringing the total treasure find to 239 gold coins dating between 1638 and 1692.
Wanting to do the right thing, the mayor’s office of Plozévet was contacted about the discoveries. Archaeologists were dispatched to catalog and record the treasure and do a survey of the property. The archaeologist noted that the main façade of the building dated to 1723 but the foundations date back to the 13th century. Since the last coin in the treasure was dated 1692, it is believed that the treasure was hidden around this time.
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the area of Brittany where Plozévet is located was a prosperous area. It was a hub for both trade and commerce for islands in the Iroise Sea as well as the English Channel and Brittany. Everything from Bordeaux wines to grains was traded and exported through this area making some very wealthy from this trade. It is likely one of the people who was prosperous from this economy hid this wealth and never returned to it.
In November 2021, two coins from this treasure were submitted to the Paris office of PCGS. The first coin was a 1669-A Louis d’Or from the Paris Mint and the other was a 1691-A Louis d’Or, also from the Paris Mint. The 1691-dated piece is a Flan réformé example, meaning that a previously struck coin from another monarch was used as the planchet to strike the new coin featuring Louis XIV, the current king. This was a common practice in France. Both coins were certified by PCGS with the 1669-A grading AU58 and the 1691-A grading AU58+, and both historical specimens were given the “Trésor de Plozévet” pedigree – meaning the “Treasure of Plozévet.”
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