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Stolen medal back after 50 years

News | Published:

A SILVER medal has returned to Guernsey, after going missing nearly 50 years ago.

The silver Sark Medal, which went missing in 1970, is back in the island after a gold and medal specialist who was asked to find out more about the medal by a collector contacted Guernsey Museum.

Known as the Sark Medal, it went missing from the Lukis and Island Museum in 1970.

The catalogue recorded it as stolen and, a short while later, it was purchased by a private collector in the UK.

Many years later the collector asked coin and medal specialist Daniel Fearon if he could find out any more about the medal and he contacted Guernsey Museum. The collector was horrified when research quickly established that it was indeed the missing Sark Medal.

The medal was struck from the first silver to be mined from Sark, at the start of what proved to be a short-lived venture.

It was presented to Charles de Jersey, Kings Procureur, in 1837 and donated to the States of Guernsey in 1956 by his great-grandson, Colonel J A Graeme.

The Guernsey Evening Press ran a piece on the story behind the medal on 13 March 1956.

Head of heritage services, Dr Jason Monaghan, said what happened in 1970 was still a mystery.

‘But once it became clear that this was the missing medal, the museum made a case that the States of Guernsey was the legal owner and would like it to be returned,’ he said.

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‘Discussions were, of course, delicate and extended over a number of years, but we were very happy with the eventual outcome.’

The elderly collector died earlier this year and Daniel Fearon, now acting for both the estate and London auctioneers Baldwin’s of St James’s, was able to explain the situation to the executors, who were willing and happy to see the medal returned to Guernsey.

It has been cleaned by a museum technician and is now safely back in the collection.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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