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I found some coins and jewellery in our top field. So how can I get them accurately appraised? Show them to PAS, of course, but they don’t do valuations. The National Association of Goldsmiths Institute of Registered Valuers have the definitive answer to that. They recommend “shop around. Don’t accept the first offer you receive.”  Or you can use an independent jewellery valuation services such a Safeguard or go to a valuation day and have your items “valued by an independent registered valuer without being parted from them”. Great. That fits with normal prudent commercial practice – that a person who wants to acquire your property shouldn’t be the only one to advise you on what it’s worth. Obviously. But look at this ….


silas agreement.

That’s how all detecting contracts are with zero provision for leaving all finds with the farmer to enable him to get a second opinion. Instead it’s the detectorist alone who decides value and hence what the farmer will get – and indeed whether he gets shown his own property at all! So my simple point is this: if respectable professional jewellers in pinstripe suits advise you not to trust them but to get a second opinion then an agrarian entreprenerial jeweller without an office and wearing camouflage gear should do the same. Shouldn’t they?

These contracts are a scandal in plain sight with profound consequences for  farmers, who can seriously deny it? So it would be nice if The Archaeological Establishment stopped looking the other way.


Silas Brown,
Grunters Hollow Farm,

BTW, today and tomorrow the ignorant grabfest at Weyhill Fair  is taking place yet again. Clearly the organisers and attendees are impervious to outreach but it’s a shame the Portable Antiquities Scheme or English Heritage or anyone official that gives a damn about heritage can’t have a word with the farmer for he has agreed to expand the extent of the stunt:
“Our brilliant Farmer has offered us a 4th field that we will open if numbers dictate”.

One can assume he was advised “it’ll be good for Heritage, honest”.
Bonkers Britain is on clear display today.

Feedback by an attendee, 22 March 2016: “I thought Sundays start was brilliant it was like the start of the Grand National everyone heading for the new field”.  Well, well well! It’s almost 11 years to the day since the organiser of another awful event, the “Near Avebury Metal Detecting Rally” crowed to the press: “It was like the start of the Grand National”. So nothing has changed.

No PAS staff were present at “Near Avebury” but some were at Weyhill and as educated people they must have been appalled at the Grand National spectacle. Yet you may be certain they won’t be allowed to say so in public. Britain has a hush-hush policy over yobbery.






March 2016

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