NORTH Yorkshire and East Yorkshire have both been ranked among the best places in the country to find hidden treasure.

There were 1,508 items discovered last year alone in North Yorkshire and 1,322 in the East Riding.

An estimated 44,000 discoveries are reported across the nation every year, averaging out at 120 per day according to research from metals4U, an online metals retailer. 

The 10 regions with the most treasure discoveries in the past 12 months:

1. Norfolk - 6,527 2.

Leicestershire - 4,101

3. Suffolk - 3,105

4. Lincolnshire - 2,650

5. Hampshire - 2,006

6. Wiltshire - 1,689

7. Oxfordshire - 1,647

8. North Yorkshire - 1,508

9. East Riding of Yorkshire - 1,322

10. Somerset - 1,209

The Treasure Act defines treasure as finds older than 300 years.

These include coins, prehistoric metallic objects and artefacts that are at least 10% precious metals such as gold or silver.

Anyone who thinks they have struck a hidden horde has to tell the coroner within two weeks, so the court can hold an inquest to decide who gets the loot. If they don’t, they face an unlimited fine or up to three months behind bars.

Local and national museums are given the chance to purchase any pieces a coroner rules as treasure. But the finder doesn’t leave empty-handed. They will be paid a sum depending on the haul’s value.