BRONZE AGE HOARD: UNDERVALUED OR WHAT.

As I expect you have noticed I do a page here on my blog called 'Treasure in the News'. Normally any snippets I get I put them on that page. Today I came across a BBC news article and after reading it I thought it was worth a mention here. Reason being there has been a lot of talk lately around some detecting blogs about why some detectorists do not report finds. This could be and I'm sure it is one of the reasons why.

Its about a man who dug a bronze age axe head and four gold rings and after doing the right thing and reporting it,  the governments Treasure Valuation Committee offered him a valuation of £550 and said it was a fair price. Yet the man who found these bronze age items estimates that the hoard is worth £6,200, which was backed up by the Suffolk Archaeological Service. Now that is one hell of a difference.

 You can read today's article here.

Read the original article that appeared when it was first found
 .

20 comments:

  1. Interesting. Rings are probably worth more in scrap!

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    1. Exactly what I thought Detectorbloke.

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  2. Thanks for this mate. Reading the bbc article, it looks like the main problem is with the rings: there aren't any recent market-price benchmarks available to help evaluate the true market value and the evaluation has (allegedly) been wrongly based on ring money/penannular rings.

    But the Treasure Valuation Committee figure of £550 for the rings and axe-head sounds ridiculously low. Valuation isn't an exact science and mistakes will be made, everyone can accept that, but £550 for such rare items sounds like a HUGE error and it won't go unnoticed.

    Will this make detectorists less likely to report things? I dare say it will make people think twice, particularly if they unearth rare items that haven't been on the market either at all or recently.

    Cheers

    Martyn

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    1. Yes Martyn, a possible mistake may have occurred with this valuation. Lets hope so because that offer sounds very low for maybe a find of a lifetime and won't help in encouraging some detectorists to declare future finds. I expect a lot of detectorists will say its not about the money, its about the history, that's fine, but there are a lot of detectorists who are treasure hunters and want to be rewarded well, that's also fine.

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  3. True enough mate. It certainly won't encourage detectorists to declare finds - that's for sure. Also, I don't think there's any recourse for the finder, Mr. Walker, with regard to the TVC valuation. Would I be right in saying that the TVC can say 'like it or lump it'? I mean, is the TVC valuation the final price? Not subject to any complaint or appeal? I suspect it is.

    Cheers

    Martyn

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  4. Paragraph 70 of the Treasure Act Code of Guidance

    70. Should an interested party (as defined in paragraph 67) be dissatisfied with
    the Committee’s recommendation, that party has the right to make
    representations to the Secretary of State before a decision is made. The
    Secretary of State will normally allow 28 days after the finder, the occupier,
    landowner or museum has been notified of the Committee’s
    recommendation to allow any representation to be made before making
    the order. The Secretary of State’s decision will be subject to the jurisdiction
    of the courts by way of judicial review. Any claim of maladministration can
    be investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

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    1. By the sound of it he did appeal but it failed and he also goes on to say he can't afford to pay for his own expert valuation and challenge it in a court, looks like he's taking the £550.

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  5. Ah-ha, I see, thanks guys. It also says that the figure of £550 was backed up by the Culture Secretary. So it looks like, as you say Janner, it's the end of the story. Not a good day for the whole treasure reporting/valuation process.

    By the way mate, I like the new look of the blog. But my colour-blindness makes it impossible to read the above comments on a green (is it green?) background with that colour text but I can read the comments if I highlight the text with my mouse. I can do it that way. I can read all the above 'replies' with a white background just fine.

    And you're looking good in your banner pic mate! Ha! I'd post a pic of myself but I'd probably scare away all of your blog readers mate! Lol.

    Cheers

    Martyn

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  6. YIKES!!!!!...Sorry there Martyn and all. What happened was while I was waiting for my nephew this morning to go metal detecting I was playing around with the settings of this blog and thought I'd change the colours to our football team, Plymouth Argyle. Once I set them I logged off, I never gave it a thought that the background I chose for the main page 'green' would also be the colour for the comments page.
    When I saw your comment in an email Martyn I logged in to have a look....wow, I couldn't read the text myself. Sorry again about that, as you see I have changed it again.

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  7. Oh ok mate. I didn't want to cause a scene or anything, Lol. But that's much better - black and white, just my local football team!. Cheers. Fiddling about the settings indeed...so did you dig up anything nice today mate?

    Martyn

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  8. I've just put up a post of my detecting day yesterday. Wasn't brill but as always its great just to get out detecting. How about yourself, did you manage to get out?

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  9. "Unless changes are made, people aren't going to donate their treasure finds to the nation." Changes? This does nothing for metal detecting as whole!
    Basically what Mr Walkier is saying is "pay me what I think its worth or I wont bother declaring anything in the future and for that matter neither will many other detectorists" Nice one Mr Walker, keep your views to yourself in future and dont judge the rest of us by your own standards.
    Have the NCMD given any advice on this? I very much doubt it, They seem to remain silent on a whole host of issues to be fair, so I wouldnt hold your breath waiting for the to get involved in this one.
    One last thing Steven makes no mention of the farmer, was he happy with the valuation? If he was then whats his problem?

    Oh and for the record I am a metal detectorists, I continue to work along side many County Archaeologists. I HAVE found coins and artefacts that can now be seen in museums, I was more than happy (as was the farmer) with the valuation.
    I guess i must be in the minority.

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  10. To be honest I thought at first the offer of £550 was low, but after reading somewhere that if it was sold on places like Ebay, there's no way it would make £6,000. At the end of the day as it was treasure it had to be reported by law and one must just accept the offer. Better that then having to look over your shoulder if your caught selling it privately.

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  11. To be fair Janner, I think its human nature to think all things that shine or old must be worth more than they really are. His £6000 estimate does seem a bit excessive though. Yes £550 is a tad low, but what he needs to appreciate is compared to a lot of countries hes very lucky to be able to go out with his detector in the first place.
    He should consider himself lucky that he's getting anything at all, The vast amount of Archaeologists I have worked with would be over the moon to get any money at all, and lets not forget, they are not only finding objects they can provide a lot more information due to the procedures they apply.
    My main gripe as I have said in my previous post is the "unless changes are made people will carry on regardless and metal detect illegally" Ok thats not his exact words but in my opinion that what he is saying.
    There is an old saying "speak only for yourself" He would do well to stick to this in the future! Hes certainly does not speak for me and the detectorists I know.

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  12. And where are my manners?? I forgot to say, I enjoy reading your blog Janner, Keep up the good work.

    Jordan.

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  13. Hi Jordan, A great reply there, you certainly made me think how we should count our blessings as regards to our hobby of metal detecting in this country. Totally agree changes must be made to encourage everyone to report treasure finds as this is the law. Myself, I would feel honoured to have a find sitting in a museum somewhere.

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  14. @Jordan - That's a point well made mate. We should definitely keep in mind how lucky we are.

    Cheers

    Martyn

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  15. I agree that you shouldn't say you won't report things if the valuation is to low.

    Being anal however then one could say that The Treasure Act Code of Practice says you should be paid a fair price between what a willing buyer and a willing seller would pay. There is no part that says, count yourself lucky with whatever you get.

    If that's what Government and others think then change the law.

    In reality though I'm happy that i can detect and that i get paid at all for what i find! It's just a bit of double standards when folks preach be happy with what you've got. You can't pick and choose what bits of the law to follow.


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  16. Oh and Jordan it would be nice to hear about how you work with County Archaeologists.

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  17. I have also had a similar experience, a gold bronze age strip valued at £400 to £600 by private valuation and the TVC offered £150 at first valuation and did not send their so called initial independent valuation, I have since been right through the whole process to the secretary of state with a final offer of £250 (50% of the fair market price and after months of fighting and providing evidence which they basically ignore. In my opinion the British and local Museums are the biggest bunch of thieves in the country, I am now pursuing maladministration of the Treasure Act and am starting a formal Parliamentary complaint through the ombudsman. The moral of the story, don't hand it in they will steal it!

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