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Posted: 5/31/2021 4:36:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2021 4:56:53 PM EDT by conductor]
If you found an old coin (1750) on the property of an old church (in unpaved parking area), can the church demand and recover the coin?
The church obviously had no idea that the coin was there, and the finder just happened to find it while visiting the church.
Church was built in 1755. Not familiar with how Virginia law views something like this.

Asking for a friend.
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 8:39:54 AM EDT
Not sure on the law but some questions I have that might better help somebody try to answer your question....

Was your friend just walking in the parking lot and happened to look down or was he doing some other activity such as searching the lot with a metal detector?

Has the property where the coin found been deemed to be some kind of historical landmark? You know the type of place where people go looking for historical artifacts?
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 10:06:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2021 10:09:10 AM EDT by conductor]
From what my friend told me, he was walking from his car to the church burial ground, which surrounds the church, when he spotted the coin in the loose sandy
soil of the parking area. He didn't say anything about it at the time, and just put the coin in his pocket. He examined the coin later, and found that it was a small
silver coin a little larger than a nickel from either 1750 or 1758.

The church is not a historical monument, but it is on the National Register of Historic Places. I don't know if that designation covers the parking area, but I assume
that it covers only the area within the brick wall surrounding the church and the burial ground.

The next time I meet up with the guy, I'll see if I can get a few pics of the coin and post them here.
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 11:46:51 AM EDT
All depends on who you ask.  The SHPO would be all over you.
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 3:09:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2021 3:37:10 PM EDT by conductor]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
All depends on who you ask.  The SHPO would be all over you.
View Quote


In the immortal words of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?"
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 3:35:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/31/2021 6:34:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2021 7:55:38 AM EDT
Why would anyone want to broadcast where they found something like that?

Loose lips sink ships.  Or lose valuable found items.
Link Posted: 6/1/2021 7:56:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By conductor:
The church obviously had no idea that the coin was there, and the finder just happened to find it while visiting the church.
View Quote

Sounds like the parable in Matthew 13:44

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”

So no legal weight there, but how the church would likely interpret it. If the man could keep the treasure, why would he need to hide it to go buy the field first?
Link Posted: 6/1/2021 10:59:33 AM EDT
What is the threshold for when any currency found in a public access parking lot becomes a legal matter?  Well a designated Historic Place by SHPO certainly interjects an authority that is completely separate from the church.  Relics are getting tougher and tougher to legitimately claim.
Link Posted: 6/3/2021 10:19:15 AM EDT
Tagged for interest.  I would like to see pics.

Finders keepers in my book.

I see a LOT of old property in my AO.  I always wonder about guns in walls, Confederate money in old books, pre-64 silver buried under the big oak tree...
Link Posted: 6/4/2021 4:30:49 PM EDT
My buddy brought the coin over, and I took a few pics of it.

I don't think that it's terribly valuable, but it is kinda neat.

It is almost exactly 13/16 across, and weighs 2.8 grams (1/10 oz)

Attachment Attached File

Attachment Attached File

Link Posted: 6/4/2021 5:01:05 PM EDT
Finders keepers.
Link Posted: 6/6/2021 5:28:32 PM EDT
Looks like it might be worth a few hundred bucks.  Cool find.
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