Coin hoard value to be released
THE value of Jersey’s Celtic Coin Hoard – the largest find of its kind that is estimated to be worth millions – should be announced within weeks, one of the men who discovered it has said.
Metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles unearthed the ancient trove, which contained around 74,000 coins, as well as gold and silver jewellery, in June 2012 in a field in Grouville, ending a 30-year search for the treasure.
After a five-year wait and a trawl through treasure laws dating back as far as the 11th century, the pair are finally set to find out how much the discovery is worth – and what their reward will be.
Mr Mead said that the least valuable coins in the hoard, which originates from the first century BC, are likely to be worth £100 each, suggesting a valuation of at least £7.4 million, without taking into account the precious jewellery that accompanied the hoard.
He added that under UK law, which is being applied to the case, he, Mr Miles and the landowner of the field in Le Câtillon, Grouville, are entitled to a reward for their find.
‘The hoard is owned by the Queen, but we will be entitled to a reward under the Treasure Act 1996,’ said Mr Mead.
‘A decision is going to be made in the next few weeks on the valuation. The valuation committee visited the hoard and with all the relevant info have met at the British Museum to agree a final figure.
‘A discussion is going to be had before the figure is released to the public.’
Mr Mead added that he and Mr Miles initially had to refer to laws going back to the time of William the Conqueror to pursue their reward, before it was decided that the Treasure Act could be used to settle their claim.
‘There was no precedent in Jersey for finding something this important,’ he said.
‘We had to argue the case with the British government using laws going back to the 11th century.’
It is hoped that the coin hoard will be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ever find of its kind. The 74,000 coins discovered outnumber the number which have been unearthed in the whole of France.
Mr Mead said it had been an ‘absolute pleasure’ working with Jersey Heritage over the last three years to separate and study the hoard, the final coin of which was removed in January this year.
‘It has not been about the money for us, it has been about the find itself,’ he said.
‘We have been on television and radio in places like France and Germany, and have been into schools talking about this. People all over the world are interested.
‘The most important thing now is that the hoard remains in Jersey and helps generate income as tourists come to see it.’
A decision on where the hoard will be displayed will be made after the valuation figure is released.