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Gold coins found in old piano declared treasure

The treasure was found in an old piano Photo: The British Museum

The coroner has declared a stash of sovereigns, some dating to Queen Victoria's reign, as treasure.

They were discovered beneath the keyboard of a piano that had recently been donated to Bishop’s Castle Community College, by a local Shropshire family.

The instrument's new owners decided to have it re-tuned by piano technician Martin Backhouse when the gold coins were found.

The hoard is the largest gold sovereign hoard ever found, consisting of 913 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from 1847 to 1915.

The discovery of coins was made by the latest owners in December 2016 Credit: The British Museum

The coroner has confirmed that there are no viable family claimants despite an extensive search so has declared the hoard as Treasure. This will mean any reward will be shared by the finder (the piano tuner) and the current owner (the college).

The piano the gold coins were found in Credit: The British Museum

The hoard will need to be valued by the Treasure valuation committee, but the face value of the coins is £773.

At the time it is thought the coins were hidden, that would have bought you a four bedroom town house (equivalent value today of around £500,000) or 61,840 pints of beer (based on beer being 3d a pint).