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treasure finds

Under The Treasure Act 1996, all treasure finds must be reported to the Coroner in the relevant district within 14 days after the day of discovery, or within 14 days after the day on which you realised it might be treasure, for example after having it identified.


The penalty for not reporting a find that you believe to be treasure is up to three months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

What happens next?

  • In every district there is a Finds Liaison Officer (FLO), who will take responsibility for the find, talk to you about where you made the find and give you a receipt for it
  • If it turns out not to be treasure, the FLO will inform the Coroner and it may be returned to you without an inquest
  • If it is treasure, then the FLO refers it on to the British Museum or the National Museums and Galleries of Wales who will decide if they or any other museum wishes to purchase it
  • If no museum wishes to buy it then the Secretary of State will disclaim it and it will be returned to you, pending any dispute with the landowner
  • If a museum does want to acquire your find, an inquest is held to confirm if it is treasure, after which it will be valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee

Full details can be found in our information for finders of treasure leaflet (PDF 275kb)

Treasure Valuation Committee

The Treasure Valuation Committee establishes the likely market value of each treasure find. A reward of this value can then be made to the finders of treasure and to the owners of find sites unless there are grounds for no reward or a reduced award to be made.

The Committee is made up of independent antiques or coin experts and includes an official from the leading metal detectorist body.

To read Treasure Valuation Committee minutes please contact

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websites of interest

Treasure Act 1996
The Treasure (Designation) Order 2002
Portable Antiquities Scheme 
National Council for Metal Detecting

related information

There has been a 45% increase in the number of archaeological finds reported in 2005-06 compared with 2004-05.