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From time-to-time at Christmas, we hear about someone dropping a valuable gold coin or old rare coin worth a lot of money into a Salvation Army kettle. A couple in England did one better without even knowing it. They donated an old piano they had to a school. When the school attempted to have a piano tuner bring the instrument back into pleasant form, an unexpected treasure was found hidden inside.

A hoard of more than 900 gold sovereigns found hidden in a donated school piano has officially been declared as treasure as the coins’ original owner and the reasons for them being so covertly stashed still remains a mystery.

Piano technician Martin Backhouse, 61, was astonished to discover the coins, found hidden under the upright’s keyboard and carefully stitched into seven cloth packets and a leather drawstring purse.

He had been called in to tune the 110-year-old instrument at Bishop’s Castle community college in Shropshire, which received the piano last year from a couple who were “downsizing” their home.

Although the hidden coins were preventing the piano from making a sweet melody, once they were discovered, there was a whole new tune being played. One of mystery, surprise and bewilderment. Now an expert is trying to trace the history of the piano so as to try to discover who may have hidden the coins inside.

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