Latest Metal Detecting Find
Lovely find. Beautiful coin. Must have been so exciting to have found one that old.
I once found a George III half penny in a garden of a property built in the 1950s. The person who lived in the property had lived there for over 40 years and was a very keen gardener. So the soil would have been dug over many times. It would also have been overturned quite dramatically with the construction of the property in the 50s. Before the house was built, the area was just open farmland.
In spite of that, I found the coin on the surface as if it had just been dropped there the day before.
The date on the coin is 1779. Having just had a quick look on the internet it seems that the value of the coin at the time would be just over three pounds of today's money.
What I found interesting was to find out that the coin was a forgery... and a very poor one at that.
There were many of these fake coins in circulation at the time, to such an extent that they became a big factor to the economy, along side the royal mint.
It was common in those days for workshop owners to pay the wages of their workers with fake coins. There were many workshops in the town near to where I found the coin so could easily explain how the coin got there.
Not quite as exciting as a Henry III silver penny but I enjoyed finding out about the coin anyway.
But it's interesting to think that the coin you found had been lost for 500 years before the one I found had even been produced.
Cofty - I think it's great that you've found something that is nearly 800 years old.
Although most of what I find has little value it is a real buzz to hold something that nobody has seen for more than 7 centuries - yes indeed. When this coin was in common use, the industrialisation of England hadn't started, and wouldn't for several centuries. Latin was the language of learning, French was the language of court and royalty, and the common folk spoke a type of English called Middle English - dialects and accent varied, and spelling wasn't regularised. We would have great trouble understanding it.
The vowel sound shifts had yet to happen, which means that 'house' would have been pronounced as 'hoose' - as it still is in northern England and Scotland.
T-V distinction was still in use, with thou being pronounced as 'thoo' (cf. German, Swedish 'du'). There was no proper printing press. That came in the 15th century with William Caxton, I believe.
One more thing: are you sure it wouldn't be worth much? Aren't 800 year old coins worth a bit of money?
That is so awesome!!! I would love to live in an area with real history like that!!! As a kid we used to dig for Indian artifacts...Wed find a sharp stone and believe it was a tool or weapon.... You got real great stuff cofty!
Congratulations on the great find! How exciting! This made me think of a really great novel I read called Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman which is about the reign of Henry III and his contentious relationship with his brother in law Simon de Montfort (it also deals with England's relationship with Wales). The author is a historian and her books are very historically accurate.
Nice find cofty!
Wow! The head of the coin actually looks like something you would expect to see carved on a Mayan, Aztec or Inca ruin. lol.
Giles - Yes there was a lot of forgery throughout the history of coinage but it was especially bad in the late 18th century. There was a major - and very expensive - recoinage in 1799. That was a great thing to find by eyes only. Copper coins don't tend to survive very well. I must have over a hundred from around the early 1600s on and only a very few that are in decent condition. I will post a pic of a lovely George III penny that just happened to survive with a nice dark patina.
LUHE - I am always amazed to think what life was like at the time things I find were lost. I red quite a bit of history to try to get a feel for life at those times. This coin is probably worth about £30. I have never sold one as I enjoy collecting the history.
I have one coin that I think might have some proper value though. It is a Charles I threepence minted at York a few years before he was executed. It is so exceptional in the detail and the condition. It was made by a French moneyer called Briot. It was one of the last "hammered" coins before the advent of milling. I will post a pic below. I was new to detecting when I found it and had no idea how stunning it was. I will get it valued sometime.
BW500 - Thanks for the book suggestion. I love historical novels where the author has done their research. I will look out for that one.
The inscription on the reverse is "CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO" which means "I reign under the auspices of Christ". That was the attitude that got him beheaded!
The word about the shield is EBOR which is Latin for York.
The Obverse inscription stands for "Charles by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland". This truly is a stunning hammered silver coin. Once in a lifetime find. I found it about a hundred yards from where I am typing this.
Edited to add - Here is one with some damage that sold for $295
Things that did not happen in field service!
I have some coins inherited from my great-grandfather, he was a merchant sailor, and hace some 1700's coins from Bolivia and some other from here, Chile... Our country is so young! I can only dream of finding western objects from 1500's...
By the way I traced back to my great-great-grandfather who was british (not sure if scot or english) and landed this country in the 1800's as a railway engineer, it would be fantastic to trace back my genealogical tree there in the UK where the records can lead to very ancient dates!
Long ago, I "invented" some kind of D-I-Y device for coin-photography when I was in school, here's the results... (I posted a link to my flickr below)
Very nice results Mandrake.