A 9-year-old Kate was helping her mother in their garden when she stumbled across a coin that would change her life forever. What seemed like an exciting find turned out to be the worst thing that could have ever happened. Kate was thrilled when she found her coin. She did not tell her parents about the coin at first.
She wanted to keep her treasure a secret just for her. After cleaning the ancient coin, she thought that the coin must be very old, judging by the wear and dirt on it. She would end up being right; the coin that she found was over 700 years old. Tragically, only a few short months after she found the coin in the garden, Kate lost her mother.
After hiding the coin in her dresser, Kate did not give it much thought. Her secret treasure was quickly forgotten. She did not think about the coin for almost 14 years and only found it when she was packing up her room to move and go to University. After the rediscovery of her treasure, Kate kept the coin. For her, it was a reminder of the times that she had spent helping her mother in the garden.
After rediscovering the coin, however, she decided she needed to know who and where the coin came from. Kate needed answers. Kate took the coin to a local museum. She had hoped that the curators and employees at the museum would be able to shed some light on the history of her coin. She told them the story of how she had found the coin in the garden, helping her mother when she was just a girl.
Kate was completely unaware of the trouble she had just ended herself in when she went to museum. It would have been better to keep the coin a secret. Naturally, when Kate walked into the museum and said that she had found an old coin, the staff was more than happy to help her out what they could about the coin. Thankfully, the museum had a coin expert on hand who was able to identify it for Kate.
After only a short inspection, the expert hit Kate with some serious unexpected news about the coin that she had found so many years ago. Her coin that she had found as a child playing in the garden was not actually a coin at all. It was something much rarer. Kate was, understandably, shocked to learn about this. After all, if this wasn't a coin, then what is it? She needed to know more. Thankfully, she was in the right place for just that.
To Kate, finding out that her treasure was not a coin was a shock. She had no doubt that this tiny, round piece of metal was a coin used hundreds of years. This small objects was far more valuable than Kate could have imagined. The rarity of the find makes it valuable.
For Kate, though, it was still a reminder of her time spent in the garden with her mother. The coin that Kate found is rare that only four examples have been found in all of Great Britain. For Kate, this just meant she had something special. She was certainly not wrong, the coin is quite special, but it is also the cause of too much trouble for Kate.
A storm was brewing, and it was heading straight toward her. Naturally, Kate was curious. Why else would she have even brought the coin to the museum? If this wasn't a coin, then what else could it be? It certainly looked like a coin to Kate. It turns out that the coin was actually a piedfort. For anyone other other than an expert, the two are almost identical and can be difficult to tell apart.
It turns out that the pierdfort that Kate found is more worth far more than she could have ever hoped. Kate was thrilled to learned that her coin was actually quite a lot of money, but this is where her troubles begin. Since Kate was the one that found the coin, she assumed that she should be the one to decide what to do with it and ultimately to profit from it.
It turns out that her pierdfort was minted in celebration of the ascension of King Charles IV to the throne of France. Since it was to celebrate the crowning of a foreign king, there is a high likelihood that the pierdfort was once owned by a local lord that attended the coronation. King Charles IV was coronated in the year 1322. This means that the pierdfort was almost 700 years old.
The museum decided that they must have it. It turns out that the piedfort Kate found is worth around $3,000. For Kate, the memories of her time in the garden with her mother were priceless, so she decided not to sell her treasure. After examining the coin the pierdfort, the Ludlow Museum staff recommended that Kate should contact the local coroner to have it examined further.
This would also allow them to begin negotiations to buy the piedfort from Kate. After leaving the museum Kate decided not to talk to the coroner. For the museum, the only thing that they cared about was adding the piedfort to their collection. Over the next few months, the museum continued to pursue for the piedfort.
Little did Kate know, Anthony had started the process to take legal action against her. She was surprised when the police arrived at her home and issued her a court summons. Kate was shocked, after all, what had she done wrong? She had found the piedfort in her mother's garden, so it was hers.
For Kate, the memories of her time with her mother far outweighed the cash value of the coin, but the police had other ideas. Since the piedfort is so rare and historically significant, they decided that they must get it from Kate. They chose to attack Kate with the flimsiest legal argument, The Treasure ACT of 1996.
The Treasure Act was passed to establish what would be defined as treasure legally and how all treasure finds would be conducted in the future. This would be used to keep track of historical artifacts that were found in the country. If convicted, Kate will be the first person ever to be convicted under the law, but what exactly had she done wrong?
Parliament passed the Treasure Act in 1996. It serves to legally define what qualifies as treasure and also requires that anyone who finds treasure to report it. The Treasure Act is actually very specific about what qualifies as a treasure. If an item is over 300 years and contains more than 10 percent of any precious metal, it is considered a treasure.
According to the Treasure Act, all treasure must be reported to the coroner in no more than 14 days. Since she did not report the piedfort to the coroner within 14 days of finding it, she was convicted under the Treasure Act. Kate could face up to three months in jail for her 'crime.'
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