Who owns buried treasure found in Australia?

May 18, 2011 3:31:01 AM PDT
Police are trying to determine who owns a treasure-trove of gold coins unearthed from a building site on Australia's southwest coast. Western Australia state police spokesman Gerry Cassidy says workers found the 400 British sovereigns last week while digging a ditch in the port city of Albany. They handed them to the property owner who is claiming ownership.

Cassidy said Wednesday police are checking law books to determine whether the property owner or even a museum is entitled to keep the coins, dated 1800 -- 26 years before Albany was settled by Europeans.

He says an appraiser valued one of the coins at $17,000 but did not have an estimate for all of the coins.

Police have no theories on how the coins came to be buried in Albany.

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