Coins
The largest gold sovereign hoard ever found has been declared treasure but mystery surrounds the identity of the rightful heirs to the trove of gold coins. The hoard consists of 913 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from between 1847 and 1915.

You have 2 more free articles remaining

Consisting of 913 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from between 1847 and 1915, the coins were found under the keyboard of the piano carefully stitched into seven cloth bound packets and a single leather drawstring purse.

The coins were deliberately hidden within the Broadwood & Sons piano but despite an international media appeal, the identity as to who put the cash in the instrument remains unknown.

An inquest last week by Shropshire coroner John Ellery found the hoard to be treasure but admitted “we simply do not know how they came to be concealed”.

This means ownership of the find now lies with the Crown. An independent Treasure Valuation Committee will be convened at the British Museum to value the coins with estimates already in the region of £350,000.

Coins

The largest gold sovereign hoard ever found has been declared treasure. The coins were found under the keyboard of a piano carefully stitched into seven cloth bound packets and a single leather drawstring purse.

For 33 years, the piano had been owned by Graham and Meg Hemmings, formerly of Saffron Walden, Essex who were unaware of the coins inside.

The couple, who moved to Shropshire in 2015, then donated the piano last summer to a nearby school, Bishop’s Castle Community College, which then decided to have it tuned.

It was tuning technician Martin Backhouse who found the “gob-smacking” stash.

The coroner had adjourned the inquest twice in order to allow the public to come forward with information regarding the hoards original owners and their heirs or successors.

Now the hoard has been declared treasure museums will have an opportunity to acquire some or all of the find. Saffron Walden Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring some of the collection.

The finder Martin Backhouse and the owner Bishops Castle Community College will share a reward if any of the coins are acquired by museums.