Graham and Meg Hemmings, residents of Shropshire, accidentally cheated themselves out of over half a million dollars. The couple decided to be generous and donate their old instrument, a piano, to a local school. The lucky recipients of the piano were Bishop’s Castle Community College.
When they hired a piano tuner to fix the instrument, a hidden stash of gold was discovered. There were approximately 913 gold coins, some of which are more than one hundred years old.
The coins found were a mixture of British sovereign and British half-sovereign pieces. The total weight is more than 13 pounds of gold. Its total approximated value falls at £500,000 ($640,000).
Unfortunately for the Hemmings, under the law of the United Kingdom, any unexpected discoveries regarding valuables belong to the finders. The stash was taken into custody of the legal system, where it is assessed as to whether or not it was actually “treasure.”
This gold coin hoard was declared “treasure,” which means that they will be sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds are going to be divided equally between the piano tuner and the college.
The couple has no right to the reward since they gave the piano away.
From Heat Street:
Under UK law, unexpected valuable finds can be taken into the custody of the legal system, and officially declared “treasure” if they are significant enough. This was the case with the gold coin hoard, with the result that museums will be able to bid for the items, and the people who found them will be paid their market rate. In this case, the value of the find was declared to be £500,000 ($640,000) – and will be divided evenly between the college and the piano tuner.
Since the Hemmings’ gave the piano away, they have no right to any of the reward – and, remarkably, don’t seem to mind.
Mr Hemmings, 72, said: “We’re very glad that the college will benefit. We knew the piano needed tuning when we moved it to Bishop’s Castle but it played well.”