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The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 3, January 16, 2017, Article 21

PIANO TUNER FINDS GOLD COIN STASH

David Pickup forwarded this article about a stash of gold coins found by a piano tuner in an old upright. Arthur Shippee sent this story as well. Thanks! -Editor

Piano held gold coin stash A piano tuner may be eligible for a windfall of tens of thousands of pounds after discovering a hoard of gold coins inside an instrument while working on it.

The upright piano has become the subject of a coroner’s inquest after a “life-changing” amount of gold was discovered in a cavity that has been undisturbed for at least 33 years, and possibly for as long as a century.

John Ellery, the senior coroner for Shropshire, opened a hearing in Shrewsbury yesterday to try to trace the person who hid the coins. If no one comes forward with a verifiable claim then it will be declared treasure, entitling the piano tuner to share its value with the piano’s owner.

The Treasure Act 1996 determines that hoards that are less than 300 years old will be declared treasure if they are substantially made of gold or silver, were deliberately concealed by the owner with a view to later recovery and the owner (or their heirs) is unknown.

Items ruled to be treasure become the property of the crown, with compensation due to the finder and the owner of the land or object where the treasure was found. This usually means the metal detectorist who unearthed the hoard and the owner of the site, but in this case it is the piano tuner and the piano owner. If a museum raised the money to acquire the hoard, the finder and the owner would split the proceeds. If not, the gold would be returned to them.

The coroner did not identify the piano owner yesterday, but The Times understands that a community group recently received it as a donation from a family that had owned it for 33 years.

The family, who live near Saffron Walden, kept the piano as a working instrument but never noticed anything odd. It was only when the instrument, a 110-year-old model by John Broadwood & Sons, was donated to the community group that the tuner found the hoard of more than 100 coins, thought to be gold sovereigns.

Unfortunately, no details have been published yet on the composition of the coin hoard. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Piano tuner finds gold stashed in old upright (www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/piano-tuner-finds-gold-stashed-in-old-upright-fxldnt23c)

Archives International sale 38 cover


Wayne Homren, Editor

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