Government Buys Coin Hoard For £4.25m

The Chief Minister with a model of the Le Câtillon coin hoard

A 2,000-year-old coin hoard unearthed in Jersey nine years ago will be kept in the island.

The Le Câtillon hoard - which is thought to be the largest of its kind in the world - was found by metal detectorists in a Grouville field in 2012, with the debate on its future ongoing ever since.

Today, the Chief Minister announced Jersey's government has purchased the hoard on behalf of the island for £4.25 million.

Rather than coming from taxpayers money, the treasure trove was bought using reserves from the Civil Asset Recovery Fund - money confiscated by Jersey's courts after being linked to money laundering or the proceeds of crime.

The fund is managed by the Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel:

"I think all Islanders will welcome the news that this internationally-significant piece of our history will stay in Jersey. I regard it as appropriate that money from the Civil Asset Recovery Fund is used to settle its future."

The Le Câtillon coin hoard

As well as the undisclosed amount paid by the Crown to the finders, the final settlement includes £250,000 paid to Jersey Heritage for its work restoring the hoard, the island's Receiver General, Alan Blair, says a further £250,000 to establish a trust to preserve it for future generations:

"All parties have agreed that the establishment of a trust will ensure that the coin hoard can be enjoyed and studied by future generations.

The Crown will undertake the work needed to establish an independent trust, the purpose of which will be to promote scientific and educational research into the hoard."

Jersey's Chief Minister says the nine-year wait to secure the coin hoard's future has been time well spent:

"This is an outcome which will ensure that this unique part of Jersey’s history remains in the Island for this and future generations.

Since its discovery nine years ago, Jersey Heritage conservators, archaeologists and volunteers have unpicked and studied the hoard, but there is still much that it can reveal about Jersey and our place in the world at the time of Christ.

Had it been decided to split the hoard into its component parts for sale to the highest bidders, considerably more money could have been raised and the treasure trove would have been dispersed across the world and its inherent value to Jersey lost.

The Crown was under no obligation to sell to the island and, although it has taken time, we have reached an agreement which satisfies the interests of the finders, the Crown and the island."

The coin hoard is currently on display at La Hougue Bie.

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