treasure-trove

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treasure-trove,

in English law, buried or concealed money or precious metals without any ascertainable owner. Such property belongs to the crown. The present practice in Great Britain is for the crown to pay the finder for the treasure-trove if it is of historic or artistic value. In the United States the government does not assert a claim to apparently ownerless property but allows the finder to keep it.

treasure-trove

in Britain
Law valuable articles, such as coins, bullion, etc., found hidden in the earth or elsewhere and of unknown ownership. Such articles become the property of the Crown, which compensates the finder if the treasure is declared. In 1996 treasure was defined as any item over 300 years old and containing more than 5% precious metal