York Coin Fair Meeting


Transforming our knowledge of coin finds from England and Wales: The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The July meeting will be held as part of the York Stamp and Coin Fair at the York Racecourse at 11:30am on Saturday 21st July. The meeting will be addressed by the President of The British Numismatic Society, Roger Bland, who is also now Keeper of the Department of Prehistory & Europe at the British Museum.

Roger Bland

England and Wales have developed a unique system of protection in the Treasure Act of 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The Act gives legal protection to a small group of finds that qualify as Treasure – precious-metal objects and hoards of coins and other artefacts – and ensures that these are offered to museums, while ensuring finders and landowners receive the full market value. The number of finds qualifying as Treasure has increased from about 25 a year before 1997 to 970 in 2011. The Portable Antiquities Scheme consists of a network of 50 archaeologists who encourage searchers – mainly metal detector users – voluntarily to report their finds, recording the information on an online database (www.finds.org.uk) which now includes details of nearly 800,000 finds, including 300,000 coins and this is a unique resource available to any interested person. 

The finds range from spectacular discoveries such as the 2,500 gold and silver Anglo-Saxon objects from the Staffordshire hoard and the hoard of 52,500 Roman coins from the Frome hoard, both of which were declared Treasure and have been bought by museums for public benefit. However, it just as much a priority for us to record the unspectacular objects such as Roman grots, or Northumbrian stycas, because when finds like these are systematically recorded they can transform our understanding of the past. The talk will describe some of the many research projects being carried out on all these data. 

You might like to know that ITV are screening a 6 part series, Britain’s Secret Treasures, which features the top 50 finds reported as Treasure or to PAS over the week of 16-22 July (ITV 1), so the subject will be in the public eye!


  1. Thanks for knowledge share, I will be waiting for future posts

    Marcus White Lisdoonvarna

  2. I pondered to myself recently what were the most important things in my life. The answer seems to be clear that art was up there in importance. Why? Frankly, I don't really know. May be someone here can enlighten me?
    As was my wont w
    hen I have some free time, I browsed the marvelous site, wahooart.com, where they keep thousands of digital images for customers to select to have printed into handsome canvas prints for their homes.
    This image jumped out to jolt my reveries: Still life with bread, by the Cubist Georges Braque. Is art like this picture, as essential as bread and water, or should I say bread and wine?