24
Apr
2017

Gold Sovereigns – ‘Treasure’ Trove Found In UK – Don’t Be The Piano Owner

Gold Sovereigns – ‘Life Changing’ ‘Treasure’ Trove Found In UK

The gold sovereigns – semi-numismatic gold coins made up of both gold sovereigns and half gold sovereigns dating from the reigns of Victoria, Edward VII and George V – were discovered inside an old piano after it was donated to a school last year.

A gold sovereign from that period is currently valued at between £200-250, with a half sovereign worth between £100-200. A pouch contains just a sampling of the 913 coins composing the hoard.  Image © Trustees of the British Museum via Coin World

The largest ‘hoard’ of gold sovereigns found in the UK ever has been declared ‘treasure’.

A piano tuner who discovered £500,000 (€590,000 or $640,000) worth of semi numismatic gold coins, gold sovereigns (0.2354 troy ounce) and half gold sovereigns (0.1167 troy ounces) inside the piano will get to keep half the cash – but the couple who owned the piano for 33 years won’t get a penny.

The piano’s new owners, Bishop’s Castle Community College, Shropshire which is near Birmingham, will split the £500,000 with the piano tuner Martin Backhouse.

The gold sovereigns are expected to be claimed by the British Museum, but the cash will be split between the school and Mr Backhouse, a inquest has ruled.

Meg and Graham Hemmings, who owned the piano for 33 years before donating it when they downsized, won’t get any of the money.

John Ellery, Shropshire’s Coroner, used an inquest to seek the original owners of the gold sovereigns, but despite more than 40 people claiming the gold sovereigns, none could prove they belonged to them.

The coroner said the gold sovereign hoard qualifies as ‘treasure’ because:

(1) It is substantially made of gold or silver
(2) It was deliberately concealed by the owner with a view to later recovery
(3) The owner, or his or her present heirs or successors, remain unknown

The story clearly shows the value of gold coins and the financial benefit and financial security they can bring to their owners – providing they are owned in the safest way possible.

Conclusion
Owning and taking possession of physical gold and silver coins and bars brings its own set of risks and should only be done by those who feel secure in their own home and or are very sure of the non vault place where they hide their gold coins or bars.

If storing at home rather than in the some of the securest vaults in the world as provided by GoldCore, you need to consider the risks.

These risks are that you may forget where you have hidden your coins or bars – unlikely though this may sound it has happened – that you may lose access to their hiding place or indeed that you may have them stolen. Informing loved ones and next of kin by way of a solicitor or lawyer, trusted bullion dealer or other trusted counter party would be a way of addressing this.

We encourage clients to take delivery of some of their bullion coins and bars providing they feel secure in their own home and have given some thought to these risks. The majority of a precious metal allocation is safer owned in the allocated and segregated storage in some of the safest vaults in some of the safer jurisdictions in the world.

Having the option to take delivery within days is vital in this regard. This means that you can take possession in the event of a worst case scenario of a collapse of the banking, financial and or monetary system – for whatever reason.

Possession is nine tenths of the law and hence the need to always consider how securely you own your gold and silver investments and how you maintain that possession and ownership.

This interesting story shows how gold and silver buyers and investors need to give serious consideration as to how securely their safe haven coin and bar assets are held.

Don’t be the piano owner …

News and Commentary

Gold Slides With French Tensions as Macron Becomes Front-Runner (Bloomberg.com)

French Establishment in Disarray as Le Pen, Macron in Runoff (Bloomberg.com)

Gold falls as stocks gain after French election result (Reuters.com)

Gold prices erase their loss for the week (MarketWatch.com)

U.S. Stocks Fell, Bonds Mixed Before French Vote (Bloomberg.com)

ECB can help banks, not governments after French vote (Reuters.com)

Hedge Fund Gold Demand and Gold Coin Demand Surging in EU (Bloomberg.com)

Gold Upleg Momentum Building (SeekingAlpha.com)

Last time this happened the market crashed (SovereignMan.com)

Dollar is both America’s weapon and vulnerability – Kremlin adviser (Gata.org)

The real reason to worry about Turkey (MoneyWeek.com)

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Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

24 Apr: USD 1,271.80, GBP 991.11 & EUR 1,169.42 per ounce
21 Apr: USD 1,281.50, GBP 1,000.85 & EUR 1,197.31 per ounce
20 Apr: USD 1,279.90, GBP 996.91 & EUR 1,188.00 per ounce
19 Apr: USD 1,282.05, GBP 999.74 & EUR 1,196.79 per ounce
18 Apr: USD 1,285.00, GBP 1,025.82 & EUR 1,205.46 per ounce
13 Apr: USD 1,286.10, GBP 1,025.28 & EUR 1,208.42 per ounce
12 Apr: USD 1,272.30, GBP 1,018.22 & EUR 1,199.02 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

24 Apr: USD 17.81, GBP 13.90 & EUR 16.40 per ounce
21 Apr: USD 17.98, GBP 14.05 & EUR 16.80 per ounce
20 Apr: USD 18.19, GBP 14.21 & EUR 16.91 per ounce
19 Apr: USD 18.22, GBP 14.19 & EUR 16.99 per ounce
18 Apr: USD 18.42, GBP 14.56 & EUR 17.27 per ounce
13 Apr: USD 18.56, GBP 14.80 & EUR 17.45 per ounce
12 Apr: USD 18.31, GBP 14.65 & EUR 17.27 per ounce


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Mark O'Byrne
Executive Director