Dirt Fishing - Latest Coin Finds

by cofty 26 Replies latest social physical

  • cofty

    It's that time of year again when I can get back on the fields with the metal detector looking for ancient stuff. The first field to be harvested was full of peas - ideal as it leaves no stubble and it's a two minute walk from my house.

    It has given up two coins in two visits this week.

    The first one is a cut-half silver penny from the reign of Henry II. The style of the coin dates it to before 1180 which means somebody dropped this over 800 years ago. Henry was responsible for the death of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury - 'Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?' He reportedly wore a hair shirt for the rest of his life in penitence.

    Very few people used money at this time, most trade was done by barter. In order to spend half a penny you literally cut the coin in half. The picture is a composite showing both sides.

    The second is a groat (great penny worth fourpence) of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Their divorce led to the establishment of the Church of England. Mary tried to reverse the break with Rome and became known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants. This coin dates to 1554/5 the same year that she burned hundreds of Protestants at the stake. In common with most coins of her reign her portrait has been rubbed out by disaffected subjects.

    Good start to the season!

  • Freedom rocks
    Freedom rocks

    I need to get a metal detector and have a go up in Scotland

  • cofty

    The rules are a bit different in Scotland. Everything has to be sent in to the Museum. I'm in England where old silver coins can be kept by the finder unless you find two or more in the same spot.

    All silver or gold objects more than 300 years old must also be surrendered under the Treasure Act.

    Before you buy a detector make sure you have permissions to work on. Remember it is 'going equipped to steal' if you go on land with a detector without the owner's permission. It's not always easy to get landowner's consent. I'm lucky to live in a rural estate that has been inhabited since Adam where I can detect about 1400 acres.

  • TD

    Very cool!

    I wish there was something even remotely similar to that around here.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Great pictures of the ancient coins and interesting information about them!

  • dubstepped

    That's really cool. Never done the dirt fishing thing but I'd love to. I don't know how easy it is here to find available land to do it though. Nice finds!

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    Nice coins! Don't drop them into the contribution box.

  • sparrowdown

    I 'm also interested in it as I live near a beach in a historic area.

    I enjoyed watching a show called The Detectorists btw.

  • cofty

    sparrowdown - In the UK you can detect on most beaches (not all) with a free permit that you can apply for online from the Crown estates. I have one somewhere but I have never done any beach detecting.

    The Detectorists was a well written series. It conveyed the many hours of finding nothing and the hope of the big discovery. Good gentle British humour.

  • sparrowdown

    Yeah, the anticipation of what you may discover is just as thrilling. Also, the story behind the item, how did it get there who was the last person holding it etc? The thought that stuff we lose now could be found in the future - so cool.

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