Iron Age gold

British Museum say Treasure Act is having the right effect

From Antiques Trade Gazette

The British Museum have credited the Treasure Act – which ensures treasure hunters are compensated for finds – for the significant increase in reported objects.

This year’s Treasure Annual Report, published on November 19, lists a total of 749 precious metal objects reported last year, compared with 665 in 2006.

That amounts to a tenfold increase in the numbers of artefacts reported since the Act came into effect in 1996.

James Robinson, the curator of medieval collections at the British Museum, said: “The way the system works now is a massive incentive for people to go out and find things.

The number of items found seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year.”

Under the Act, any gold, silver and groups of coins more than 300 years old have to be reported to the local coroner.

“If the treasure is bought by the British Museum or a local museum, the proceeds are split, with half going to the finder and half to the landowner.”

This year’s major discovery was an Iron Age gold and silver torc c.50BC to 200AD found near Newark. It was purchased by Newark Sherwood museum services for £350,000.