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What is categorized as treasure trove?

The National Museum is continuously working on the criteria for the treasure trove and what is perceived as rare, unusual and of cultural-historical value. These criteria are adjusted in relation to the objects already specified as treasure trove.

The objects that are not declared treasure trove might still be of interest to the local museums and their work on researching, preserving and education on local history Therefore, it is imperative, that the finder and the local museums view the finds together.

The National Museum always encourages the finders to contact the local museums when objects with cultural-historical value is found, even if they do not meet the treasure trove criteria.

Modern lost and found items are never treasure trove.


The criteria for objects belonging to the category of treasure trove are as following:


Gold - all objects made of gold.

Silver – all objects made of silver (with exception of some single finds of droplets and smeltings).

Bronze – Identifiable fibulas. Ornamented objects and objects with stone or glass fused metal inlays (such as enamel).

Bronze objects that are unidentifiable or unornamented are not treasure trove. Bronze bars or smelting pieces and workshop waste are not treasure trove.

Lead – Moulds for Viking age jewelry. Weights with stamp decoration or enamel and gilded bronze (Irish types).

Weights and other lead objects without ornamentation are not treasure trove.

Iron – Unusual and very well-preserved objects are potentially treasure trove.

Weapons, tools, horse equipment and weights that does not have any ornamentation is not treasure trove.

Stone – Objects made of imported stone or semiprecious stones are treasure trove.

Undecorated stone tools are not treasure trove.

Other materials – Rare objects of glass, textile, tooth, bone, flint, and ceramics is potentially treasure trove. Jewelry of amber is mostly treasure trove.

Deposits and hoards – objects connected to a deposit or hoards are treasure trove regardless of material.

Objects with runes, or other scratched writing or ornamentation – are always treasure trove.

Pottery with decorations is not normally treasure trove.

Human bones – human skulls and skeletal parts found in bogs and wetlands (bog bodies) are treasure trove.

Medieval and Renaissance periods

Gold - all objects made of gold.

Silver – All objects of silver from the Medieval period are treasure trove (with exception of some single finds of droplets and smelting). Intact or almost intact objects with inscription or ornamentation from the Renaissance period is potentially treasure trove.

Silver objects from after 1660 are only in rare cases treasure trove.

Bronze – Intact objects with ornamentation or inscriptions/marks or objects with an exceptional character (e. g. inlayed with enamel).

Unornamented objects and fragments of bronze objects are not treasure trove. Objects of everyday use like taps, ordinary keys, padlocks, knife sheaths and chapes of bronze sheets and handles (including so-called Wendish types, knife pommels/handles), simple belt buckles, psalm book clasps and workshop waste are not treasure trove.

Lead and tin – Lead weights can be treasure trove, if the decoration or shape indicates that they are Medieval. Pilgrim tokens, Medieval objects with inscriptions are treasure trove. Intact jewelry in tin or lead alloy may be treasure trove, tableware of tin from late Medieval and Renaissance periods, are potentially treasure trove. Spindle whorls of lead, unidentifiable cloth seals in lead and later cloth seals, post Medieval personal seals in lead and such like are not treasure trove.

Iron - Unusual and very well-preserved objects, primarily weapons, are potentially treasure trove.

Other objects made of iron are not treasure trove.

Stone – Precious and semi-precious stones. Objects made of other types of stone such as imported porphyry and soapstone are potentially treasure trove.

Other materials – Unique or rare objects of amber, tooth, bone, wood, glass, ceramics, or textile are potentially treasure trove.

Deposits and hoards – Objects that are part of a hoard or a shipwreck assembly dated to the Medieval or Renaissance are treasure trove regardless of the material.

Objects with runic inscriptions – Are always treasure trove. Objects with Latin inscriptions (both majuscule and minuscule) are potentially treasure trove.


Gold coins from all periods.

All coinage from prehistory, Viking age and Medieval period (up until and including1536).

Lager silver coins like thalers from after 1536.

Hoards (several coins placed together) from all periods.