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The Portable Antiquities Scheme

A voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work.

The Treasure Act

All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same find spot, which are over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Now prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after January 1, 2003 also qualify as Treasure.

The Act allows for landowners and finders whom they have given permission to search on their land to qualify for a reward based on the open market value of the items found. The recent discovery and sale of the Crosby Garrett Roman parade helmet has prompted a call for a revision of the Treaure Act to include isolated but important finds of non-precious material.