TWO golden coins which were hidden as part of a scheme along the Southern Upland Way have been rightfully removed by their finders - but not traded in for their winning prize.
During the first 13 months of The New Hoard project, 13 Winning Coins were put into kists right across the 212 mile stretch of the Southern Uplands and 11 winners came forward, swapping each gold coloured coin for a gift voucher worth £100 in Patties Outdoor Store, Dumfries.
But, while 13 gold coins were distributed and all 13 have been removed from kists, two coins have never re-surfaced. Somewhere, £200 worth of gold is out there and Southern Upland Way Ranger Tom Whitty would like to get to the bottom of it.
He said: “It’s possible that the winning nature of the coins have not been realised by their finders, even though it says “Hoard Winner” on it and the competition ended in December. In the new year, the two unclaimed gift vouchers will be raffled off for charity.”
Tom added that the coins could have been taken from the kists, then lost.
“If that is the case, serious commiserations are in order here. But I’d still love to know the story behind the misadventure – what happened and where? Did the dog eat it? Or is it, perhaps, languishing in the fluff-drawer of someone’s washing machine?” he said.
Perhaps the gold coins have gone abroad and their finders perceive shopping at Patties impractical. But Patties have a website and will send prizes by post.
Another explanation could be thet the Hoard Winner coins are so prized, they’re worth more to finders than the £100 gift vouchers.
Tom said: “This is not impossible, as a previous winner felt reluctant to submit the coin - she was willing to forgo the £100. However, if you have a winning coin, please write in without delay – it can be returned to you by special arrangement and you can still collect the prize. Or perhaps the coins have entered national archive collections from which they cannot be separated. I would say to this - unlikely.”
If you have the answer, or can think up some alternative ones to explain the non-appearance of the winning coins, please write to Southern Upland Way Ranger Tom Whitty at Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service, Militia House, English Street, Dumfries, DG1 2HR, or phone 07702 078 795.