Today (23.11.10) a hoard of gold Spanish-American ‘doubloons’ found near Lincoln were declared treasure by the Assistant Coroner for West Lincolnshire . The hoard comprises six gold coins of Charles IV of Spain dating between 1790 and 1801. The coins were minted at various locations across Spanish-America, including Chile, Bolivia and Mexico.
This was the time of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, when gold coin was being carefully hoarded in England. Coin hoards are relatively rare after the time of the English Civil War, but the decades of the 1790s and 1800s are exceptions, especially with regard to gold. There are a significant number of such gold hoards on this scale, from between about 1794 to 1808, of from 8 to 57 gold coins. Spanish-American gold of this period was made to a standard of 88% fine gold.
The coins were discovered on the same site as a previous hoard of similar coins found in 1928. At the time of deposit, the value of the two groups of Lincoln coins, now numbering 24, would have equated to several thousand pounds in terms of modern-day purchasing power.
This particular hoard is unsual because despite being less than 300 years old it still falls under the provisions of the Treasure Act (1996). This is because it would previously have qualified as ”treasure trove’. Page 8, Para. 9 of the ‘Treasure Act (1996) Code of Practice’ state that ‘Only objects that are less than 300 years old, that are made substantially of gold or silver, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown will come into this catagory. In practice such finds are rare and the only such discoveries that have been made within recent years have been hoards of gold or silver coins of the eighteenth, nineteenth ot twentieth centuries.’