Hidden Gems

Posted on 02 July 2020

You might read about it in a novel or see it in the movies, but does it actually happen – do people stumble across rare jewels and priceless antiques in real life?

Yes, they really do. 

As seen on TV

In 1986 the Antiques Roadshow discovered a missing painting –  Halt in the Desert by Richard Dadd. Missing since 1857 and valued at £100, 000 – it turned up in the attic of a local couple who ummed and ahhed over bringing it to the TV show. Good job they did – they sold it that week to the British Museum for £100,000.

The same show also turned up a rare art deco diamond bracelet in 2016. Made in the late 1920s it was valued at £150,000 -causing the owner to break down in tears. It had apparently just been worn by her husbands family for years. 

You can find a hidden treasure when out shopping too. Bought for a mere £400 in an antique shop, an old oil painting turned out to be a real Van Dyck painting, valued at over £400k.

Buried treasure

It’s not just the stuff of stories – in 1992 for example farmer Peter Whatling asked a friend with a metal detector to search his field for his lost hammer. 

Along with the hammer, he found an oak chest stuffed with silver spoons, gold jewellery and Roman coins, dating back to the 5th century. 

When archaeologists were called in to help, they found all sorts of treasure in the same field. As a result its now in the British museum with an approximate current value of £3.9million

Not dissimilar to that -in 2009 Terry Herbert was using a metal detector in a ploughed field in Staffordshire. He came across the largest trove of Angelo-Saxon treasure ever found. Containing over 3,500 items; valued at over £4.1 million.

All at sea

If you haven’t rushed out to buy a metal detector and are still reading, then perhaps its a wetsuit you need. Members of a scuba diver club were diving off the coast of Israel. They found a gold coin. Looking closer they realised it was many coins, over 2000 in fact. Dating from the 10th and 12th century, these coins are so valuable they are unable to attach an exact value to them, other than to say they are indeed; priceless. 

Take a hike

Whilst on a simple hike in the woods in 2019 in rural Poland, a man came across three gold and silver ornate clasps under a pile of leaves. Dating from the 5th century experts believe they were left by a barbarian tribe traveling that area at that time. 

Home is where the heart is

Maybe your luck is already much closer to home. In February 2019, a lady in Derbyshire took an old bureau into the auctioneers to be valued. They discovered a tiny hidden drawer she had no idea about. Inside the drawer was a 22 carat gold coin dating back to 1365. It went on to sell for £850, four times more than the bureau in which it was found! 

Are you sitting comfortably? A couple in Scotland bought a dusty old chair from an auction for £5. Ten years later and they took it part to recover it. Only to find £5,000 of jewellery hidden inside…

In 2013 whilst clearing out an attic, a locked attache case was found, and almost thrown out. It had to be forced open just to satisfy the owners curiosity. But instead of old papers they found  £55,000 worth of jewellery from 70 years ago. 

It goes without saying, any such items you might find in your attic, or field for that matter, can be fully appraised by us and used to secure funding for all your future treasure seeking adventures!  Almagrove Private Asset Finance