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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.

pouch of gold coins from piano

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 - Click to enlarge


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.


Steinway and Sons

Steinway and Sons - Click to enlarge

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

France National Front, 1988 - 2017

France National Front, 1988 - 2017

- Click to enlarge

Full story here
Mark O'Byrne
I founded GoldCore more than 10 years ago and it has been my passion and a huge part of my life ever since. I strongly believe that due to the significant macroeconomic and geopolitical risks of today, saving and investing a portion of one’s wealth in gold bullion is both wise and prudent.
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