The Government response to the consultation on The Treasure Act 1996

TheNCMD
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THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE CONSULTATION ON THE TREASURE ACT 1996

The Government response to the review of the Treasure Act is being published today, Friday 4th December. The report is now available on the DCMS website.

We have highlighted some of the important points below. Please note that this is only the first stage of the process. The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) are keen to discuss any proposals with the NCMD and you, our members, before drafting the legislation on any changes to The Treasure Act. We’ll let you know how you can get involved in the next few weeks.

So what are the main things being proposed?
1. The definition of Treasure may be widened to include, for example, some Roman artefacts of any metal
2. They are looking at ways of time limiting the Treasure process. The aim will be to speed it up.
3. Improve best practise by updating the Code of Conduct and other actions, including more engagement with detectorists and other stakeholders.
4. They ‘’will be looking further at commercial rallies’’ as well as being ‘’interested in finds which leave the UK and how these are recorded and regulated.’’ (p13 paragraph 41)

Any changes will be laid in front of Parliament in 2021 and come into practise in 2022. In the next few months we will be actively involved in ensuring the hobbies voice is heard in the discussions.

To join the debate comment below, or the NCMD Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheNCMD
Marley

More of a comedy act to be truthful
Been through the treasure process, I actually forgot about the items before the end outcome , which in itself was hilarious....not.
Would I consider doing it again, nope not even enter my head.
A honest and I guess controversial reply in this snowflake p.c world , feel free to delete an actual real human opinion
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figgis
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I'll have a read through the report later to see what devil might be in the detail :thumbsup:

There's a brief piece on the BBC wesite
Marley wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:42 am Been through the treasure process, I actually forgot about the items before the end outcome , which in itself was hilarious....not.
Would I consider doing it again, nope not even enter my head.
If an item falls under the Treasure Act you don't have the option. Reporting it is the law, as you well know, so "opinion" doesn't come into the equation.
Marley

I’ll alter my settings so I never find anything other than lead :thumbsup:
Hammmered Coin
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All be regulated soon and certain folk/ groups will be breaking away it will all end in tears I am afraid ..But all for the good of the hobbyl :lol:
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TheFenTiger
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Marley wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:42 am More of a comedy act to be truthful
Been through the treasure process, I actually forgot about the items before the end outcome , which in itself was hilarious....not.
Would I consider doing it again, nope not even enter my head.
A honest and I guess controversial reply in this snowflake p.c world , feel free to delete an actual real human opinion
And that right there is why there is the change to the treasure act. Unless we act responsibly in the hobby it will become more and more restricted.
Dave
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TheFenTiger
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Hammmered Coin wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:17 am All be regulated soon and certain folk/ groups will be breaking away it will all end in tears I am afraid ..But all for the good of the hobbyl :lol:
Not sure I understand what you mean. Break away from where? The NCMD don't make the rules and breaking away from them will change nothing as the Treasure Act is the law and applies to everyone.
Dave
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Interesting to see that part of the proposals are to include single gold coins dating AD43 to AD1344 as Treasure.
Steve RC
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It will be interesting how the term " significant " will be defined in an uequivocal way.
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Steve_JT
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From my understanding of my brief read of the paper Roman artefacts (and anything) that they deem to be included may be acquired by the museums

So the coroner may needed to determine if that is so, not sure if it will attract a payment or not? (not that I’m it for the money) No doubt any item acquired will never see the light of day again only to be stored away

Seems it will cause more paperwork and red tape that will bog the whole system down and become unsustainable without large investment

Possibly lead to items not being reported and creating a black market and an underground detecting culture

Why fix something that’s not broke, this will only affect the responsible detectorist and stifle recording of finds, if we are legally allowed to continue with strict conditions put in place

2020 truly turning out to be completely buggered up

Will have to wait for the determination in plain English the way forward

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
Pete E
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From what little I have seen of the process, it really is not fit for purpose..

As an example, if you find two silver hammered coins of the more common type and report the find under the Treasure Act, thousands of pounds is then spent over a couple of years determining the fate of two items that may have a market value of £50...

If they change the law to include things like Roman steel yard weights, spindle whorls and grits, the system will simply grind to a halt and collapse..

I believe a two tier appriach is needed, where FLOs or similar "filter out" the more common/ low value finds while recording them on the PAS data base, and then come to an agreement with the Finder. They would then only pass on the high value or historically significant finds to go through the full Coroner process, or those finds where the Finder is disputing the FLOs initial assesment...
tone
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Best get them gold coins on ebay before it's to late. :rollinglaughing:
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TheFenTiger
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Steve_JT wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:56 am
So the coroner may needed to determine if that is so, not sure if it will attract a payment or not? (not that I’m it for the money) No doubt any item acquired will never see the light of day again only to be stored away
Which are still accessible by researchers and has the potential to be displayed if and when the museums wants to as opposed to sitting in a plastic box in a detectorist shed never to be seen by anyone else ever again and likely to be chucked away when they die. Or sold into a private collection which only a few select people will ever see.
Dave
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TheFenTiger
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Pete E wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:58 am From what little I have seen of the process, it really is not fit for purpose..

As an example, if you find two silver hammered coins of the more common type and report the find under the Treasure Act, thousands of pounds is then spent over a couple of years determining the fate of two items that may have a market value of £50...

If they change the law to include things like Roman steel yard weights, spindle whorls and grits, the system will simply grind to a halt and collapse..

I believe a two tier appriach is needed, where FLOs or similar "filter out" the more common/ low value finds while recording them on the PAS data base, and then come to an agreement with the Finder. They would then only pass on the high value or historically significant finds to go through the full Coroner process, or those finds where the Finder is disputing the FLOs initial assesment...
I agree that it should be possible to have a 2 tier system. Bits of broken items that would never be of interest and have to be declared because they fall within the act shouldn't need to go through the full process. I had a small broken silver cosmetic set fragment which went through the same process as a purse loss and took over a year to get back.

My purse loss is now on its 5th time of going through the process as I have found it over such a long period of time. I have to declare each coin I find as part of the original find and each one will take a year to return 2 or 3 coins with no chance of a museum wanting them and even if they do, the ones disclaimed won't need to be considered with anything going forward.

I can't see common Roman items being treasure. However, some of the more elaborate brooches could if a museum likes the look of them. It would be more for statues or helmets than everyday items. That is where the FLO will have to decide but if you consider items found in Colchester may not be considered interesting where as Roman items in Cornwall are.
Dave
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Jamesey1981
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They mention the dog statue as an example of non precious metal finds that should be included in the treasure process.

I find this somewhat contradictory in light of other parts of the document.

It certainly has archaeological value, however, they also take great pains to stress how fair and accurate the TVC valuations are, if this is the case, a museum would be no worse off buying the item at auction, and let's face it, none of us are likely to be willing or able to chuck 70 grand at a landowner for their share so that we could keep an item like that so it is going to be going to auction.

Can't have it both ways, either the TVC valuations are accurate, in which case there is no need to include anything else in the treasure definition, or it isn't and they admit that this is a cheaper way for museums to acquire artifacts.

Including single gold coins is the same to me, this just seems like a way for museums to acquire valuable items for less money, the archaeological value of a coin has nothing to do with what it is made of, and if the TVC valuations are accurate then the museums will be no worse off buying the coins at auction, again, if it is so rare that it has enough archaeological significance to be considered treasure, we won't be in a position to split the value with the landowner unless it is sold.
There is very little information that can be gained from a single casually lost coin, and any that can be gained from it will still be gained by the very existence of the coin being recorded, whether that is in the PAS database or in an auction catalogue.

I am very happy for there to be a process for artifacts of historic significance to go to museums, but this seems like rather a blunt instrument to me, it will still miss significant items but also capture other items of no real significance, just like it does now and a lot of these changes seem to be focused on saving museums money and not really anything to do with preserving archaeological knowledge.
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