Archaeologists of earlier generations are sometimes criticised for their lack of "scientific method," but perhaps they benefited from more common sense than their modern, but far more ideological, counterparts.
Here, for example, is a quote from Sir John Evans (1823-1908), a noted archaeologist of the 19th Century (and father of the even more notable Arthur), who campaigned to ensure that finders under the Treasure Trove system would receive the fair market value for their finds:
"... His main complaint, however, was against the system of reward for finders, which was for the Treasury to pay bullion value only. Citing the example of a half-angel of Henry VI restored (1470-1) from Park Street, a small coin of modest intrinsic value but great market value. Evans managed to persuade the authorities to change to a reward based on archaeological or numismatic value, although subject to a 20% discount. While this was an improvement Evans felt it was still not good enough --finders should get the full value or return of the coins, otherwise they might still melt them down."
Lord Stewartby, "Evans and the English Coinage", in _Sir John Evans 1823-1908, Antiquity, Commerce and Natural Science in the Age of Darwin_, Ed. Arthur MacGregor, The Ashmolean, Oxford, 2008, p. 196.
Thanks to John Hooker for bringing this quote to my attention.