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
References in classic literature ?
What a treasure-trove to these venerable quidnuncs, could they have guessed the secret which Hepzibah and Clifford were carrying along with them
While Don Quixote examined the book, Sancho examined the valise, not leaving a corner in the whole of it or in the pad that he did not search, peer into, and explore, or seam that he did not rip, or tuft of wool that he did not pick to pieces, lest anything should escape for want of care and pains; so keen was the covetousness excited in him by the discovery of the crowns, which amounted to near a hundred; and though he found no more booty, he held the blanket flights, balsam vomits, stake benedictions, carriers' fisticuffs, missing alforjas, stolen coat, and all the hunger, thirst, and weariness he had endured in the service of his good master, cheap at the price; as he considered himself more than fully indemnified for all by the payment he received in the gift of the treasure-trove.