Metal Detecting => The Treasure Hunter Forum => Topic started by: SnipesNL on March 18, 2013, 12:59:36 PM

Title: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: SnipesNL on March 18, 2013, 12:59:36 PM
Quick question: Does anyone know if I found "treasure" (coins, relics or the holy grail) who would own it? More specifically where would I go to find the answer? Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: rugger on March 31, 2013, 08:17:57 AM

It don,t mather they all will confiscate.
Best to do is keep your mouth shut if word gets out you loose it.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: goonies on September 10, 2013, 06:22:16 PM
Quick question: Does anyone know if I found "treasure" (coins, relics or the holy grail) who would own it? More specifically where would I go to find the answer? Thanks in advance.

You already know the answer to your question, like another poster wrote, keep your mouth shut and enjoy. ;D
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: Ambrose on September 11, 2013, 06:16:53 PM
The best advice has all ready been given.  The same goes for anything you find!!
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: sunshine on September 12, 2013, 01:08:31 PM
The quick answer is "it depends".  On one end of the scale, nobody is going to be upset or come after you for keeping a few clad coins from a park.  On the other hand, if the holy grail is archaeological relics (eg. Viking, Native, etc), then ...  Also, can have issues on where it is found and title.  For example, private land vs public, stolen property vs lost, insurance claims, etc.

Specifically for Newfoundland,  maybe start with a look up of  Historic Resources Act, chapter H4.  Not currently well enforced, but that can change.  Look up treasure trove law and you will see Nova Scotia is clamping down hard now. 
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: GPEX admin on September 12, 2013, 10:09:28 PM
Back in the 70s and early 80s,  in NS it used to be that from water recoveries the Feds would get generous and extend you costs, but land based recoveries was under the Treasure Trove Act and the province would only want 10%.  Ideally, one could take a water find, bury it on shore for a few year, and thus come out a winner.  Alex Storm only received the notoriety and expenses.  However, a few years back, that element of divers who wanted to periodically do recreational diving labored to change the legislation so recoveries would not then be possible.... and it seems the tree-hugging types won over.  Even the Queen proclaimed that all former British Vessels found anywhere in the world, was being claimed by the Crown.  Cheers, aye?  Leave it there for 300 years and make no effort to bring it to surface, yet whine I want it, I want it, I want it.  Go figure, aye?
Thus, out with the Trreasure Trove Act and in with the Heritage Act.

For what it's worth.........

Marine Heritage Laws (



Country Canada Province/State
Newfoundland & Labrador

Title of Law Historic Resources Act

Type of Law Provincial Statute Citation Chapter H-4,1985

Administration Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation; Cultural Affairs Branch; Historic Resources Division

Jurisdiction Jurisdiction includes in, on or forming part of the land within the province and 'land' includes land covered by water, whether fresh or salt.

Brief Discussion All artifacts are property of the Crown. It is illegal to buy, sell, trade or otherwise dispose of or remove an archaeological object from the province. There is a clause whereby if a person dies who is in possession of an archaeological object, the executor of the estate is responsible for delivering the archaeological object to the Crown's possession.

The Provincial Archaeology Office has received reports of people sport diving on historic wrecks and the RCMP have been called in to investigate, but no charges have been laid. It is generally felt that there are not enough human and financial resources to provide outreach and proactive programs

Permit System A permit is required to conduct archaeological investigation for the purposes of discovering archaeological objects. This includes a survey or examination, whether or not it involves interference with or removal of the soil. Permits are issued for two broad categories: Archaeological Research and Impact Assessments. There is no fee for a permit and no set time limits for permits. Permits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Progress reports and final reports are required. The site must be restored to the condition it existed in prior to the investigation, where it is reasonably possible to do so.

Penalties Contravention of the Act, regulations, or the conditions of a permit or the terms of easement or covenant is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment up to one year or both. Each day the offense continues constitutes a separate offense. Powers of peace officer may be vested in employees of the Division.

Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: sunshine on September 13, 2013, 03:20:46 PM
The penalties show it pays to be fast, because each day is treated as a separate offence. 
Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: GPEX admin on September 13, 2013, 09:49:13 PM

Iím sure great minds have already contemplated such a terrible situation it would be, if unbeknown to the boatís skipper, when passing over a treasure wreck the danged old anchor somehow jarred loose and happened to start dragging everything outbound till it was discovered after passing over the 12 nautical mile jurisdictional limit. 

Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: sunshine on September 15, 2013, 08:53:24 AM
I have a NFLD treasure story that I learned second hand.  Here are the facts and then the speculation:

I used to be quite close to a fellow who sold metal detectors from his basement (now dead).  We would spend hours talking about methods and places.  He had some great stories from customers.  One day a young fellow who grew up dirt poor n Newfoundland showed up asking for advise on type of detector he would need for a special project. 

His Dad was a deck hand on a fishing boat.  The boat pulled into a small island to wait out a bad storm.  While they were at anchor, he went ashore and wandered around.  He found a spot where gold and silver treasure was scattered on the surface or slightly buried but visiable.  He put a few small pieces in his pocket and hid the rest of the items that were exposed, with the intention of going back later.  The only person that he told was his wife.  He died before going back.  One of the pieces that he gave his wife was a dagger with jewels on the handle.  He may have shown the dagger to my friend (I forget) when he was asking what sort of detector he would need to find similar objects.

The son knew from his Mom which island to check out.  He went there and couldn't find anything, so was now shopping for tools to help.  Even though he did not have much money, he bought two good detectors - a two box for finding large items and a regular coin/jewelry.  He never came back to the store - so no further info on his success.

- It sure sounds like the fellow was confident treasure existed.  He had the evidence from his Mom.  He spent money to pursue it further. 
- He may have found it and cleaned out the spot.  However, he was not experienced with a metal detector and his first attempt was not successful.  Odds are, he would have been "tight lipped" if he found anything, just like his Mom and Dad.
- It sounded like pirate treasure.  However, buried pirate treasure is typically fiction (the stuff of movies) - Pirates usually kept their treasure with them and then spent everything at the first opportunity.
- It could have been stuff brought ashore from a shipwreck (ie. the boat was in trouble, so they salvaged what they could and then did not survive).  This would make the most sense to me.   
- It could have been items from a more modern robbery of old relics (ie. not pirate).  Either way, treasure is treasure.
- If somebody wanted to take a look too, I would think the focus would be on remote islands (if it was close to an existing harbor, they would have gone there to weather the storm).  It would be an island with a natural harbor (same thing that attracted the "pirates" years ago and the fishing boat when the storm came up).
- If it was from a ship wreck, then there may be evidence (eg. ballast or cannon on the bottom) in the natural harbor.
- Since the Dad was just wandering around, the stuff that he hid would be out of sight, but not probably buried (he would not have had a shovel with him).  Therefore, there are likely two possible spots for the remaining treasure, the stuff hidden by the Dad and the slightly buried stuff that was not hidden by the Dad. 

Title: Re: Who owns Treasure in Newfoundland
Post by: goldcrazydude on August 11, 2014, 01:54:29 PM
loose lips sink ships :-X <-sealed_>