Picture this. Your unemployed, or in work but on a low income on the basic wage. You have decided that you would like to take up metal detecting as a hobby. You don't want to go into debt so you put aside a couple of quid here and a couple of quid there and after 12 months you have enough saved to buy your first metal detector. You find you have developed a real passion for metal detecting and get out when you can with it in all weathers. After a few weeks of finding the odd musket ball, a couple of buckles, a few buttons and a few old copper coins you have a signal, dig it, at it turns out to be an old rare gold coin. After your excitement you carry on detecting and close by you find another gold coin, and another. Now you have a hoard and know you have to report it which you do. Once the Flo has recorded it and its gone through all the other stages and its declared treasure trove worth £5,000, you get offered couple of options. Donate it to a museum and receive a certificate to put on your mantlepiece or take the £5,000 finders fee.
If that was me its a no brainer, I'd take the money.
Why, because of a few reasons. For a start the above first paragraph is me, the only thing that wasn't me is the three gold coins. I've yet to find a hoard but if I do its free money, I invested what money I had saved in a legal hobby, (ok, I know metal detecting is illegal on some land), but overall it is legal. I follow the code of practice by reporting my find, thus recording a bit of history. If I never walked over that area the coins would not have existed, they would have still been lost. So in a nutshell I did everything I was supposed to do, so why not take the money. By taking the money I'm sure I'm not breaking the banking system in this country, no one is being harmed, its just like having a good win on the lottery.
What sparked me to write the above is that I have been reading lately of some good finds being donated and the finders declining any 'finders fee' for them. To the finders who do and have donated good luck to them if that's what they wanted to do. I can imagine the good feelings of seeing your finds sitting in a museum for all to see. But what I don't understand is why not accept the finders fee, after all your finds will still be sat in a museum for all to see.