Treasure finders are often keepers

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The Independent Online
WHETHER a find is declared treasure trove or not, the unearther can expect to make a pretty penny.

Ronald Stocker, a farmer from Lincolnshire, netted around pounds 50,000 from a treasure-trove string of 99 fourteenth-century Edward III and Richard II gold coins he found in an onion field.

The British Museum kept 23 of what was called the Pinchbeck Hoard, for which Mr Stocker was paid pounds 11,680. The rest were auctioned.

Mervyn Bone and Richard Chamberlain have a similar story. They found hundreds of pennies from the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154) while they were members of a Norfolk metal-detecting club. The treasure trove left to them bagged pounds 26,037, through the good offices of Christie's.

One inquest that decided for the finder involved a solid gold ring from the Middle Ages. Robert Angus, a pipefitter from Hartlepool, found the ring in 1989. At the inquest, the coroner ruled that the ring had been lost rather than hidden and therefore Mr Angus did not have to surrender his acquisition to any museum.

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