This has both encouraged detectorists in their hobby and led to increasing amounts of fully declared material appearing at auction.
The numismatic world enjoyed many discoveries, from a silver penny of Edward the Martyr c.975-978 (£9000 at Dix Noonan Webb in April) to a Sego-Tascio ‘warrior’ stater (£15,500 at Iron Age coin specialist Chris Rudd in May).
Rudd’s sale in November included the first known coin of Caratacus unearthed in 2019 in a Berkshire field. Described as ‘the most important single Iron Age coin ever found in this country’, it sold in a timed online auction at £71,000.
Other historic ‘dug’ items sold this year include an early 17th century silver vervel from a hawk owned by ‘Kyng James’ (£18,500) and a Tudor gold merchant’s ring found close to the site of Bridlington Priory (£36,000). Both were offered at TimeLine Auctions.
Looking ahead, a planned change to the 1996 Treasure Act may mean that objects made of any material, rather than just gold or silver, may be classified as ‘treasure’.