The Treasure Act

The bowl from the Harrogate hoardIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds, over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1st January 2003 also qualify as Treasure. See 'The Definition of Treasure' in the menu on the left for more detailed information on the type of artefacts and coins which need to be reported as potential Treasure.

  1. Advice for finders of Treasure leaflet
  2. Full code of practice for the administration of Treasure

If you need advice on the Treasure Act, or reporting items of potential treasure, the regional Finds Liaison Officers in England and Wales will be happy to help.

For more information on the operation of the Treasure Act and antiquities law in Northern Ireland, see http://www.ehsni.gov.uk or write to:

Department of the Environment
5-33 Hill Street
Belfast
BT1 2LA
Tel: 028 9054 3001
Fax: 028 9054 3111

The Treasure Act 1996 does not apply in Scotland or the Isle of Man, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme does not operate there.

The laws regarding Portable Antiquities in Scotland are very different than those in England and Wales. Whereas in England and Wales the recording of all non-Treasure finds is voluntary, all archaeological objects found in Scotland should be reported under Treasure Trove.

For more information on the law in Scotland see http://www.treasuretrovescotland.co.uk or write to:

Treasure Trove Unit
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1JF

Tel: 0131 247 4355
Email: info@treasuretrovescotland.co.uk

The laws regarding Portable Antiquities in the Isle of Man are also very different. All archaeological objects found in the Isle of Man should be reported to the national heritage agency and no archaeological object may be exported from the Isle of Man without a licence.

For more information on the law in the Isle of Man please contact:

Manx National Heritage
Manx Museum
Kingswood Grove
Douglas
Isle of Man

Tel: 01624 648000
Email: enquiries@mnh.gov.im
Website: http://www.manxnationalheritage.im/

Wreck

Property found in the sea or the seashore could be from a ship and is known technically as 'wreck'. Wreck is not treasure. All wreck must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck. This can be done by downloading a form from the Receiver's website. The address of the Receiver of Wreck is:

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Bay 1/05,
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
Southampton
Hampshire
S015 1EG
Tel: 02380 329474
Website: http://www.mcga.gov

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