Here's a new article about the U.S. gold coins found in the U.K. that we discussed last week. This one has an image was haven't seen before - the glass jar and paper in which the coins were found.
A hoard of gold coins found in Hackney by a local resident in 2007 does not qualify as treasure and should be returned to the descendent of the man who originally buried them, ruled an inquest last week (Monday 18 April).
In 2007, Hackney resident Terence Castle was digging a frog pond with three others in a back garden in Stamford Hill when they struck suddenly struck gold, discovering a glass jar containing 80 American coins dating from 1854 and worth around £100,000.
"I unwrapped the greaseproof paper the coins were wrapped in and saw the statues of liberty marching into my face in gold relief… I knew it was something special." He took the coins to his office and contacted the British Museum. He insisted that they collect the coins because "otherwise I might have just run off to Rio with them."
A treasure inquest was opened to determine the value and provenance of he coins. If coins less than 300 years old are gold or silver and appear to have been deliberately concealed, the law states that unless a superior claim is made the finder may receive a reward equal to the treasure's value.
In a unique twist to the story a likely descendent of the original owner of the coins has been found.
The twenty dollar gold coins are known as ‘Double-Eagles'. Photograph: Hackney Council
A claim was made by Max Sulzbacher whose father, Martin, was a German Jewish banker living in Frankfurt who fled persecution from the Nazis in 1938 and moved to live with his family in Hackney, bringing the valuable coins with him.
The current case represents a second deposit of Martin Sulzbacher's wealth. In 1952 as work commenced on a new building on the site of Mr Sulzbacher's house, another hoard of 82 $20 American gold coins dating to 1890 was discovered in a glass jar on the same site. The hoard was awarded to Mr Martin Sulzbacher by the coroner at the time.
On 18 April 2011 the Coroner for Inner North London resumed an inquest in relation to a hoard of American gold dollars found in Hackney in 2007.
The coroner decided that Mr. Sulzbacher has a superior claim to the coins meaning that they will not qualify as Treasure according to the terms of the Treasure Act 1996, on the grounds that in order for objects to be classed as such, their owner or his or her heirs or successors must be unknown.
Mr. Martin Sulzbacher passed away in 1981 but the coroner's office, the British Museum and the Museum of London worked together to track down his son, Mr. Max Sulzbacher, who lives abroad.
To read the complete article, see:
Hackney hoard of gold coins fails to count as treasure, court rules
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
U.S. GOLD COIN HOARD FOUND IN EAST LONDON RETURNED TO OWNER'S FAMILY
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