You must report treasure to the local coroner within either:
- 14 days of first finding it
- 14 days of realising an item might be treasure, even if you’ve had it for longer
You only need to report items officially defined as treasure.
There’s an unlimited fine or up to 3 months in prison for not reporting treasure.
You can get help reporting treasure to your local coroner in Wales by contacting the curators at the Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
National Museum Wales
There are different rules for Scotland and different rules for Northern Ireland.
Items of cultural or historical interest
If the items are not treasure but still of cultural or historical interest you can:
- report them to the Portable Antiquities Scheme website if you are in England
- report them to the Cymru PAS Scheme website if you are in Wales
This is to help keep a record of all finds.
After a find is reported
You will be contacted by either a local Finds Liaison Officer or museum curator to talk about how and where you made the find. You’ll be given a receipt.
The Finds Liaison Officer or museum curator will then write a report on the find. Museums can express an interest in it if it might be treasure.
The coroner will then hold an inquest. You may be invited to the inquest, along with the site occupier and landowner of where the treasure was found, and given the opportunity to ask questions.
If a museum wants the treasure
The Treasure Valuation Committee will ask an expert to value the find. They will recommend to the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) how much the treasure is worth and how much should go to anyone eligible for a share of a reward.
You’ll have the chance to comment on the valuation, along with the site occupier and landowner.
If you disagree with a valuation
If you disagree with a valuation, you can:
- ask the Treasure Valuation Committee for a review
- send your own valuation for the committee to consider
- appeal to the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
Who gets a share of the reward
You may get a share of the reward if you’re:
- the finder, and had permission to be on the land and acted in good faith
- a person or organisation with freehold on the land
- someone who occupies the land as a tenant of the owner
If you act in bad faith (for example by trespassing or trying to hide the find) you may get a reduced share of the reward, or none at all.
Archeologists and volunteers participating in an archeological excavation or investigation are not eligible for a share in a reward.
If the find does not count as treasure or no museum wants it
The items will be returned to you, and the landowner and site occupier informed. They have the chance to object within 28 days.
The coroner will keep the find until any disputes are resolved.
Further help and information
Email the British Museum for more information about finding treasure.
British Museum Portable Antiquities Scheme
You can also email the British Museum about a specific treasure find.
British Museum Treasure Registry
For other enquiries, email the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).