Case 99. Many, but not all, common law jurisdictions recognize the doctrine of “treasure trove,” originally limited to long buried money, bullion, or plate, the owner of which was unknown. Where the doctrine applies, the property is awarded to the finder. This differs from other buried or “embedded” property, which is usually deemed to be in the constructive possession of the owner of the land. Where the doctrine of treasure trove is not recognized, the disposition of treasure trove is not materially different from that of “lost” property in general.
Cases 100101. At common law, generally speaking, the determination of possessory rights to found property as between the finder and the owner of the premises on which the property is found depends upon whether the property is deemed to be “mislaid” or “lost.” See above under Cases 4547a: possession of mislaid property is granted to the owner of the premises; possession of lost property, to the finder. In those jurisdictions that do not recognize the common law doctrine of “treasure trove,” this third category of property, as noted in the comment to Case 99, is usually handled in a manner analogous to “mislaid” property. See, e.g., Corliss v. Wenner, 34 P.3d 1100 (Idaho Ct. App. 2001) (paving company employee was not entitled to possession of cache of 19th century $5 gold coins found while installing a driveway).