Workmen find Belgian treasure in abandoned home

Workmen demolishing an empty house in the West of France had the surprise of their lives when they discovered a hoard of Belgian gold coins dating from the 1870's.  The 600 gold coins displaying the head of King Leopold II had been hidden in a lead shell case.  Their worth today is estimated at 100,000 euros.

It was in Pont-Aven in Brittany that the labourers found the treasure trove.  First they encountered the shell case.  Upon shaking it they noticed there was still something inside. When they opened the case they found 600 gold coins with a face value of 20 Belgian francs.  French state police were called in and they put a seal on the find.

The proprietor wasn't particularly surprised by the find as his grandfather had been a coin collector.  Under French law the labourers receive half the value of the find, while the other half goes to the owner of the land.  The police get nothing as they were only doing their job!