Who does the gold-coin hoard found in Israel belong to?

It is not the members of the diving club who first came across the coins
By , Coin World
Published : 02/18/15
Text Size

When divers come across a historic underwater hoard of gold coins in Israel, do they get to keep it?

Not legally. 

Antiquities like the nearly 2,000 11th century gold coins discovered recently in the ancient harbor of Israel's Caesarea National Park belong to the state, according to Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority. 

"The Law of Antiquities states that all antiquities belong to the state and that not reporting or removing antiquities from their location, or selling or trading them is an offense punishable by up to five years imprisonment," Sharvit said in a release from the IAA.

VIDEO: Recovery of underwater hoard of gold coins in Israel filmed

Often, Sharvit said, divers who come across such finds report them to nobody and take them home. The IAA official labeled the Caesarea National Park divers who first found the gold—Tzvika Feuer, Kobi Tweena, Avivit Fishler, Yoav Lavi and Yoel Miller—as "model citizens."

"They discovered the gold and have a heart of gold that loves the country and its history,” Sharvit said.

The divers, members of a local club, notified Sharvit's Marine Archaeology Unit after bringing a small number of coins to shore and realizing what they had come across. Divers of the IAA went together with the diving club members to where the coins were found and unearthed the rest using a metal detector.

"The discovery of the treasure underscores the need to combine the development of the place as a tourism and diving site with restrictions that will allow the public to dive there only when accompanied by inspectors or instructors from the diving club," Sharvit said. 

More from CoinWorld.com:

Philadelphia Mint strikes silver American Eagle bullion coins for first time since series' 1986 debut

Ronald Reagan to be recognized on Presidential dollar, Nancy Reagan on First Spouse gold $10 coin in 2016 

Record price paid for Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American $1 coin labeled 'Missing Edge Lettering'

Mint to issue another Reverse Proof coin

The best rare coin investment advice is often timeless: the guidance of Donn Pearlman holds up today 

Please  sign in  or  join  to share your thoughts on this story.

Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by 
signing up for our free eNewsletters liking us on Facebook , and  following us on Twitter . We're also on  Instagram !

You are signed in as:null

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story

No comments yet