Reporting treasure finds to the coroner

Treasure is strictly defined by the Treasure Act 1996.  It includes:

  • any item found which is over 300 years old and has a content of more than 10% gold or silver 
  • other older items which are not made of precious metal 
  • two or more coins that are found in the same locality at the same time
  • any object which is found alongside treasure

Looking for treasure

Always obtain permission from the landowner before using a metal detector on their land. It is also a good idea to agree in advance how you will deal with anything you might find. Please note that council owned common land may be governed by bye-laws.

More information can be obtained from The National Council for Metal Detecting

If you find something...

If you think you have found treasure, please take it to your local museum or police station and report it to the coroner within 14 days - failure to do so is a criminal offence. The coroner will contact the relevant body to investigate your find.

You will be asked for: 

  • your name and contact details
  • the date of find
  • the location of find (including a map reference if available)
  • the name of land owner

If the find is declared to be treasure, it may be claimed by the Crown.  The Treasure Valuation Committee will value the find and you will be awarded its full market value.

If your find is not classed as treasure, it may still be of historical importance and could provide information about the past to archaeologists and historians. Such finds can be recorded voluntarily under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

For more advice about treasure you may wish to contact:

The British Museum
Treasure Registrar 020 7323 8611

Department for Culture Media and Sport
Cultural Property Unit Treasure section 020 7211 6181 

HM Coroners office contact

HM Coroner's Office contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ