ESS-644C25: Modern coins a

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COIN HOARD

Unique ID: ESS-644C25

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

I have examined a group of 216 coins reported found at Twinstead, Essex and delivered to the British Museum in batches in the period December 2011 to 22 May 2012. The coins are listed as follows.

Victoria (1837-1901)

Young Head, Shield type

Sovereign

1. 1863 London, die 24 7.99

Young Head, St George type Sovereign

2. 1871 London 7.98

3. 1872 London 8.02

4. 1876 London 8.0

5. 1876 London 8.02

6. 1877 Melbourne 7.99

7. 1878 London 7.98

8. 1879 Melbourne 8.02

9. 1880 Melbourne 7.98

10. 1881 Melbourne 8.02

11. 1882 Melbourne 8.0

12. 1883 Melbourne 8.02

13. 1883 Melbourne 8.04

14. 1884 Melbourne 8.03

15. 1885 Melbourne 8.0

16. 1885 Melbourne 8.0

17. 1886 Melbourne 8.02

18. 1886 Melbourne 8.01

19. 1886 Melbourne 7.97

20. 1886 Melbourne 7.99

21. 1887 Sydney 8.0

22. 1887 Sydney 8.04

Jubilee Head Sovereign

23. 1887 London 8.03

24. 1888 London 8.01

25. 1888 London 8.02

26. 1888 London 8.03

27. 1888 Melbourne 8.01

28. 1889 London 8.01

29. 1889 London 8.02

30. 1889 London 8.03

31. 1889 London 8.03

32. 1889 London 8.03

33. 1889 London 7.99

34. 1889 London 8.02

35. 1889 Melbourne 7.99

36. 1889 Sydney 8.02

37. 1890 London 8.03

38. 1890 London 7.99

39. 1890 London 8.0

40. 1890 London 7.99

41. 1890 London 8.02

42. 1890 London 8.02

43. 1890 London 8.02

44. 1890 London 8.01

45. 1890 London 8.03

46. 1890 London 8.03

47. 1890 Melbourne 8.04

48. 1890 Melbourne 8.04

49. 1890 Sydney 8.03

50. 1891 London 8.03

51. 1891 London 8.01

52. 1891 London 7.99

53. 1891 London 8.0

54. 1891 London 8.03

55. 1891 London 7.98

56. 1891 London 8.01

57. 1891 London 8.01

58. 1891 London 7.99

59. 1891 London 8.01

60. 1891 London 8.03

61. 1891 Melbourne 8.01

62. 1891 Sydney 8.01

63. 1891 Sydney 8.01

64. 1892 London 7.99

65. 1892 London 8.02

66. 1892 London 8.03

67. 1892 London 8.03

68. 1892 London 8.01

69. 1892 London 8.03

70. 1892 London 8.02

71. 1892 Melbourne 8.03

72. 1892 Sydney 8.01

73. 1892 Sydney 8.04

74. 1892 Sydney 7.95

75. 1892 Sydney 8.02

76. 1893 London 8.01

77. 1893 Sydney 8.03

Half-sovereign

78. 1890 London 3.98

79. 1892 London 3.98

80. 1892 London 3.99

81. 1892 London 4.0

82. 1892 London 3.98

83. 1892 London 3.99

Old Head Sovereign

84. 1893 London 8.0

85. 1893 London 8.03

86. 1893 London 7.99

87. 1893 London 8.0

88. 1893 Melbourne 7.99

89. 1893 Melbourne 8.04

90. 1893 Sydney 8.0

91. 1894 London 8.03

92. 1894 London 8.02

93. 1894 London 8.03

94. 1894 London 8.03

95. 1894 London 8.02

96. 1894 London 8.03

97. 1894 Sydney 8.01

98. 1894 Sydney 7.98

99. 1895 London 8.0

100. 1895 London 8.02

101. 1895 London 8.03

102. 1895 Sydney 8.0

103. 1896 London 8.04

104. 1896 London 7.99

105. 1896 London 8.01

106. 1896 London 8.03

107. 1896 Melbourne 8.02

108. 1896 Melbourne 8.01

109. 1897 Melbourne 8.03

110. 1898 London 8.0

111. 1898 London 8.0

112. 1898 London 8.01

113. 1898 London 8.02

114. 1898 London 8.03

115. 1898 London 8.0

116. 1898 Melbourne 8.04

117. 1899 London 8.02

118. 1899 London 8.02

119. 1899 London 8.03

120. 1899 London 8.02

121. 1899 London 8.03

122. 1899 London 8.02

123. 1899 London 8.03

124. 1899 London 8.03

125. 1900 London 8.03

126. 1900 London 8.03

127. 1900 London 8.02

128. 1900 London 8.03

129. 1900 London 8.0

130. 1900 London 8.02

131. 1900 London 7.99

132. 1900 Melbourne 8.01

133. 1900 Melbourne 8.03

134. 1900 Perth 8.02

135. 1901 London 8.03

136. 1901 Perth 8.01

137. 1901 Melbourne 8.03

Half-sovereign

138. 1893 London 4.0

139. 1893 London 4.0

140. 1895 London 4.0

141. 1897 London 3.99

142. 1898 London 4.0

143. 1901 London 3.99

Edward VII (1901-1910)

Sovereign 144. 1902 London 8.03 M85

145. 1902 London 8.03

146. 1902 London 8.02

147. 1902 London 8.02

148. 1902 Perth 8.03

149. 1902 Sydney 8.03

150. 1903 London 8.0

151. 1903 London 8.02

152. 1903 London 8.02

153. 1903 London 8.02

154. 1903 London 8.0

155. 1903 London 8.02

156. 1904 London 8.03

157. 1904 London 8.02

158. 1904 London 8.02

159. 1904 London 8.03

160. 1904 London 8.02

161. 1904 London 8.03

162. 1904 London 8.02

163. 1904 Perth 8.04

164. 1905 London 8.04

165. 1905 London 8.01

166. 1905 London 8.03

167. 1905 London 8.02

168. 1905 London 8.02

169. 1905 London 8.03

170. 1905 London 8.03

171. 1906 London 8.03

172. 1906 London 8.02

173. 1906 London 8.03

174. 1906 London 8.03

175. 1906 London 8.01

176. 1906 London 8.03

177. 1906 London 8.03

178. 1906 London 8.03

179. 1906 London 8.0

180. 1906 London 8.02

181. 1907 London 8.03

182. 1907 London 8.03

183. 1907 London 8.03

184. 1907 London 8.02

185. 1907 London 8.04

186. 1907 London 8.03

187. 1907 London 8.04

188. 1907 London 8.02

189. 1908 London 8.03

190. 1908 London 8.03

191. 1908 London 8.03

192. 1908 London 8.04

193. 1908 London 8.03

194. 1908 London 8.01

195. 1908 Perth 9.04

196. 1909 London 8.03

197. 1909 London 8.02

198. 1909 London 8.02

199. 1909 London 8.02

200. 1910 London 8.03

201. 1910 London 8.03

202. 1910 London 8.03

203. 1910 London 8.03

204. 1910 London 8.03

205. 1910 London 8.01

206. 1910 London 8.02

207. 1910 London 8.03

208. 1910 London 8.04

Half-sovereign

209. 1907 London 4.0

210. 1908 London 4.02

George V (1910-1936)

Sovereign

211. 1911 London 8.04

212. 1911 London 8.03

213. 1911 London 8.03

214. 1912 London 8.03

Half-sovereign

215. 1911 London 4.01

216. 1911 London 4.01

Discussion of the find

The 216 coins are all British gold coins, mostly sovereigns, but with a small number of half-sovereigns (16). The face value of the group was therefore £208. They were struck to the same standard, 91.7% gold. Most of the coins were struck at the London mint, but a significant proportion originated in Australia, where branches of the Royal Mint were opened to coin gold from the Australian mines first discovered in 1851. Coins from the Melbourne mint indeed account for a majority of the issues of Queen Victoria's Young Head type present, but this seems to reflect relative output at the time. (Figures for the mintage of sovereigns at Melbourne in the mid 1880s do not survive, but coins of this period from Melbourne are more common than London issues.)

The coins range in date from the mid-Victorian period, specifically 1863 (with one single representative of the Young Head type with Shield reverse), to the early years of George V (five coins of 1911 and just one coin of 1912). The bulk of the hoard (over 80%) falls within the period 1890-1910. Given the large issue rates for sovereigns at the mint in the years immediately before the outbreak of World War I (at London over 30 million in both 1911 and 1912, 24 million in 1913, 11 million in 1914 and 20 million in 1915), it seems reasonable to assume the accumulation of this group of material ceased fairly early in 1912.

There are a relatively large number of coin-hoards from Britain known to have been deposited in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Typically they were found within or in close proximity to residential properties and were discovered during renovations or extensions. The Twinstead hoard does not seem to fit this pattern of discovery, but is otherwise consistent with the other hoards of the period. The great majority of such hoards consist partially or exclusively of gold coins, usually British sovereigns and half-sovereigns. There are at least ten such gold hoards known from the years 1912-15, significantly more than from any comparable length of time in the surrounding period. The larger ones known include Wantage, Berkshire (264 coins, deposited c. 1915), and Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset (277 coins deposited c. 1913). Two hoards date to c. 1912, around the likely deposit date of the Twinstead find: Cambridge (37 gold coins) and Benenden, Kent (98 gold and 35 silver coins).

Treasure and Treasure Trove implications

Since the coins found at Twinstead are less than 200 years old, they cannot be considered as Treasure under the terms of the 1996 Treasure Act. However, they are still eligible to be considered under the older system of Treasure Trove, and the following report proceeds on that basis. For material to be considered Treasure Trove, several criteria need to be fulfilled.

1. The items need to be 'substantially' of gold or silver, this being defined by precedent as over 50% fine metal. All of these coins are official products of the British Royal Mint and will have been struck to the current standard of the gold coinage, which was 91.7% fine metal. These coins therefore fulfil this criterion.

2. The items need to have been deliberately concealed with a view to subsequent recovery, rather than being lost or discarded. This group of material is internally consistent, large in number, selective in its denominations, in that only the gold coinage is present, and represents a large sum of money - in modern terms this would certainly amount to over £10,000 on the basis of wage and income comparisons. The probability that this group was lost or thrown away must be considered nremote.

3. The owners of the items or their heirs must be unidentifiable. So far as I am aware, there is no evidence with the coins to indicate a specific individual.

In my opinion, therefore, there is a strong prima facie case for considering the find as Treasure Trove.

Dr Barrie J. Cook Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Coinage Department of Coins and Medals British Museum

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2011T827

Chronology

Broad period: MODERN
Period from: MODERN

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 216

Personal details

Recorded by: Laura McLean
Identified by: Laura McLean
Secondary identifier: Dr Barrie Cook

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2011T827

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Braintree (District)
Parish or ward: Twinstead (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL5813
Four figure Latitude: 51.793339
Four figure longitude: 0.289649
1:25K map: TL5813
1:10K map: TL51SE
WOEID: 26345735
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: Wednesday 30th November 2011
Updated: Tuesday 11th June 2013

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