Cadbury’s Golden Egg from infamous 1983 treasure hunt sells at auction for £37,000 


Cadbury’s Golden Egg from infamous 1983 treasure hunt that saw thousands of people digging up countryside in search for prizes sells at auction for £37,000

A special Cadbury’s Golden Egg which was commissioned for a calamitous national treasure hunt 38 years ago has sold for a record £37,000.

A dozen certificates entitling the finder to one of the 250-gram decorative eggs were buried in caskets across Britain for the 1983 competition.

Participants had to unravel cryptic clues to find the secret locations of the small eggs made from gold. 

But the chocolate company was forced to call it off due to the number of complaints from landowners sparked by hordes of people digging up private property and protected sites.

A special Cadbury’s Golden Egg (pictured) has sold for a record £37,000 in Lincolnshire

Six of the 12 golden eggs were claimed by the time the contest was scrapped.

A 13th larger decorative egg made from 22ct gold was also produced by Cadbury’s and awarded to one of its retailers in a prize draw as a thank you for helping with the competition.

The egg sparked a bidding war when it was sold with auctioneers Batemans, of Stamford, Lincolnshire.

It achieved a hammer price of £31,000. With fees added on the final sum paid for it was £37,200 – an auction house record.

The egg sparked a bidding war when it was sold with auctioneers Batemans, of Stamford, Lincolnshire. Auctioneer Greg Bateman with the golden egg

The egg sparked a bidding war when it was sold with auctioneers Batemans, of Stamford, Lincolnshire. Auctioneer Greg Bateman with the golden egg

Hidden treasure: When the Cadbury's book of clues, titled Conundrum, was published in 1983, each egg had a retail value of £10,000

Hidden treasure: When the Cadbury’s book of clues, titled Conundrum, was published in 1983, each egg had a retail value of £10,000

But the pursuit proved so popular that thousands of people ended up digging up private land and protected sites in their hunt for the gold.

The vendor had inherited the egg from their father who had bought it in 2017 but recently passed away.

The unique trinket made by the Queen’s jeweller Garrard & Co, which is about three inches tall and weighs 323.6 grams, was sold in its original presentation box.

Greg Bateman, managing director at Batemans, said: ‘This 13th egg was never known about by the public.

‘I’ve talked to a few people that were involved in trying to find them and they had no idea about this one.

Each golden egg was engraved with a unique design relevant to the region in which it was hidden. Here another egg which was secreted on the Isle of Man is pictured

Each golden egg was engraved with a unique design relevant to the region in which it was hidden. Here another egg which was secreted on the Isle of Man is pictured

Hidden treasure: When the book was published in 1983, Garrard certified each egg had a retail value of £10,000
Hidden treasure: When the book was published in 1983, each egg had a retail value of £10,000

Cadbury’s calamity! The Conundrum ‘creme egg mystery’ clues which led to thousands of people digging up the countryside when treasure hunt went wrong 

‘That’s what makes this extra special, it’s unique.

‘We are absolutely thrilled to have sold it for another house record, and are so pleased for the vendors who trusted us to sell the egg for them, especially having had to come to terms with the loss of their father last year who was the first buyer of this egg in July 2017.

‘We hope the new buyer enjoys this incredible piece of confectionary history for decades to come, and we can’t wait to see if any more of the original 12 come to light.’

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