Coin hoard’s future close to being decided

THE destiny of a hoard of almost 70,000 Iron Age coins found in a field in Jersey is close to being resolved after more than nine years, the Chief Minister has said.

Neil Mahrer, Scott Miles, Richard Miles, Olga Finch, Reg Mead. Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (30499259)
Neil Mahrer, Scott Miles, Richard Miles, Olga Finch, Reg Mead. Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (30499259)

Senator John Le Fondré told the States Assembly this week that he understood that a final valuation for the Câtillon II hoard had been conducted and that an agreed sum was in place which would enable it to remain in Jersey.

First unearthed by metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles in a field in Grouville in January 2012, the hoard of 69,347 coins has been officially recognised as a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Iron Age coinage ever found.

As well as the coins, the hoard included a number of gold torques and other artefacts and is estimated to date from the first-century BC.

The collection has been the subject of a lengthy process of valuation to determine whether it will be acquired by the Island and can remain in Jersey.

Grouville Constable John Le Maistre raised the issue with the Chief Minister this week, criticising the delay in resolving the question of what would happen to the hoard.

‘The commitment was made to treat the finders similarly to how they’d be treated in the UK under what I’d describe as the treasure trove law,’ Mr Le Maistre said. ‘That law requires settlement within three years, but it’s been nine years since the hoard was found.’

Senator Le Fondré said there had been conversations regarding the hoard in ‘very recent days’.

‘The issues are that I believe the final valuation has been performed and that there’s an agreed sum in place and that the only issue is how to fund it,’ he said. ‘From my perspective I am extremely supportive of the matter being finally resolved and the coin hoard staying in Jersey.’

The Chief Minister pledged to report back to Mr Le Maistre with a timeline for the rest of the process within two weeks.

Mr Miles said this week that he was pleased that the matter finally seemed to be heading in the right direction.

‘At least it looks a bit more positive,’ he said. ‘We are fully aware of the difficulties the Island has faced with issues like Brexit and Covid, so it is no surprise that it has taken a long time.’

A final decision would enable further research into the hoard to start, Mr Miles added, including the prospect of the find being part of a television documentary series.

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