Amendments to the Treasure Act 1996 – and an ecclesiastical exemption

The Government has announced forthcoming changes to the Treasure Act 1996, as amended. The Act applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Under its terms, newly-discovered artefacts defined as “treasure” are the property of the Crown, and a person who finds an object that he or she believes to be treasure must notify the relevant authorities within 14 days. The Act currently applies to objects that are more than 300 years old and are made of precious metal or are part of a collection of valuable objects or artefacts.

If approved, the Treasure (Designation) (Amendment) Order 2023, which was laid before Parliament on 20 February, will extend the criteria to include the most exceptional finds over 200 years old regardless of the type of metal of which they are made, Continue reading