Hi all for anyone interested I will be speaking at the Minelab day at Glenelg beach 7/12/13. Follow the link below for more information.
What a great little hunt I had in the city yesterday with a stretch of coins from George III House of Hanover 1760 – 1820 to Elizabeth II of Windsor 1952 – current. It isn’t everyday that you find a cartwheel penny, especially right in the city centre and best of all it was my very first target for the day. While doing some research about Adelaide’s early settlement I came up with an area that sounded like it was once a busy little spot but on arrival it didn’t look too promising at all. What was once an area of importance was now a dry scruffy looking corner in one of Adelaide’s parks but you just never know what treasure is hidden beneath the dirt. Cartwheel pennies are always great to find because of their size, thickness and the ghostly head of George III which is usually worn smooth. They were the first copper penny to be struck by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint, Birmingham in 1797. They weighed a full one ounce (28.3g) with a diameter of 36mm, and many were used as weights for kitchen scales which is possibly why lots of them were damaged and worn smooth. The large size of the coins, combined with the thick rim where the inscription was punched into the metal rather than standing proud of it, led to the coins being nicknamed Cartwheels.
A few Australian pre decimals surfaced before I got an iffy 10:38 that was repeatable but only from one side but I know silver coins that may be laying on their side a bit can do this especially if they have been in the ground for a while. As I was about to retrieve the coin I noticed that someone else had already cut a plug but fortunately for me they missed the coin by only a few inches. It was cool to see the veiled head of Queen Victoria on an 1895 English 3d as it seen the light of day once again after possibly laying in the dirt for over a 100 years.
With my research done and some fine weather on hand it was time to head out and see what treasures were waiting for me. First site was an old ruin from the late 1800’s but my heart sunk when on arrival all I could see was the ruin surrounded by a carpet of knee-high weeds. I sat for a moment and dreamed of what may be there but it would have to wait until another day when the grass has either died off or been eaten by some hungry sheep. The next site was somewhat the same and with the farmer nowhere to be found I couldn’t get permission, looks like that will have to wait for another day as well. Thinking cap on and I decided to let another land owner know that I was going to a ruin I had previously done on his property, damn I came up with strike three when he wasn’t home either. So as I headed back somewhat disappointed with the day I drove past the site where I had recently found some great coins in an adjoining paddock to an old general store. I had hit this site really hard but noticed that a paddock on the other side had a couple of big old pear trees in the middle of it. Now anyone who hunts old sites knows that nine times out of ten these old trees were planted by someone and possibly a structure once stood nearby. I moved quickly across the paddock with the screen of the CTX 3030 wide open and no discrimination to see if I could locate a few tell-tale signals that would prove my hunch to be correct. Sure enough as I neared the trees there was a lot of nulling and broken iron signals so I slowed down and started to find pieces of lead and a few relics. After about fifteen minutes or so I got my first really solid target but out came an old spoon that was somewhat mangled. It was odd as I found another three spoons before the ground finally dished up a solid 12:45 that turned out to be an 1853 Victoria half penny, not a silver but Ill take it.I wandered around a bit aimlessly picking up the occasional relic here and there when I got a scratchy 8:42 that I thought was destined to be another piece of lead or bent relic. Fortunately I was wrong and I scored a great little 1859 Victoria 3d from about five or six inches deep, I was pretty happy at this point with the day turning out to not be a total loss after all. My hopes were up but with what seemed like a billion flies from a hundred miles around buzzing around, trying for some unknown reason to find their way into every opening in my head I knew I wasn’t going to last. Bravely I kept at it for about another hour before they wore me down finally getting the better of me before I scurried to the car for a bit of relief.
Although disappointed about missing out on the two sites this time round I was more than happy with the outcome and drove home chuffed with the small Victoria 3d silver I had safely in my pocket. Happy hunting all and keep an eye out for those big old tress and go with your hunch, you just never know what could be close by.
I took advantage of the sunshine yesterday but as we all know with the recent good rains and sunshine equals fast growing grass. I was a bit limited for time and feeling a bit tired so instead of tackling a two kilometre walk up and down hills I decided to go over an old site right on the side of the road (not much walking). It was knee-high grass which made it hard going but it was certainly worth it when I turned up an early George III half penny, although somewhat smooth, holed and clipped.
I worked the area up and down a slope on the northern side of where the ruin once stood where there were plenty of the usual shotgun casings and lead before I scored an 1879 Victoria penny. After digging and filming five or six pieces of lead I got a scratchy 7:38 and presumed it was another bit of lead, presumption is a fools best friend. Out from under the grass and about four inches down came an 1838-39 Victoria groat or four pence, what a great find. I sent a picture to my mate Guy in Melbourne, who happens to be groatless, and his response was “what do those bloody things grow on trees over in South Australia”. Your day will come mate but for now this one is just for you.It was hard going and quite tiring swinging the CTX 17 coil through the grass, I only lasted about two hours before it was time to head for home but as soon as that grass is gone I will be back for sure. A little word of warning, be careful because the sleepy lizards are on the move which means it is only a matter of time before the snakes are out and about, hungry, grumpy and full of venom after their winter hibernation. Take care and happy hunting.
A few weeks back I took the E-TRAC and the 6″ Treasureseeker out for a few test runs and am now able to post with its release being announced by Coiltek. This coil is absolutely lethal with great sensitivity in trashy areas and punches down into the soil while getting great depth. Any serious detectorists should add this coil to their accessories because there is no way they will be disappointed. Happy hunting all.
Had a few hours so I headed back to the 1800’s site with heaps of spent rounds and musket balls with every intention to dig every repeatable target. I was surprised last time when I dug a couple of iffy but repeatable signals that were between 1:36 – 1:38 which I would normally not dig, to find that they were actually musket balls. It was another great little hunt with plenty of shotgun cartridges to keep me focused between good targets, the first being a nice 1879 Victoria half penny. I managed a couple of Victoria pennies for the day, an 1867 & an 1876 before digging an iffy 1:39 thinking that it was either junk or a musket ball and turned up an 1855 Victoria penny. The shotgun casings were doing my head in but it was worth it when I got popped out a nice 1800’s cricket buckle and what looks to be a fancy ladies hair clip. These finds really are the icing on the cake when you are having a good hunt.There were a few other interesting items amongst the usual harness rivets, bits of lead, brass odds and ends like a really old wooden handled pocket knife, dog registration disk and an ornate top off of something.
When you finish a hunt make sure you never pack up and just walk away, keep swinging as you head back to your car because you just don’t know what may pop up under your coil, as was the case when I locked on to a solid target and pulled an 185? Victoria 3d. A perfect finish to another great hunt, keep that coil low and stay positive, happy hunting.
With the sun shining and all the great finds that have been popping up over the last month on the Australian Metal Detecting & Relic Hunting forum, it didn’t take much to get me motivated to head out to some of my old 1800’s sites. I knew the lower lying paddocks would still be too wet so it would have to be a hilltop somewhere, and I knew just the place. After about a 15 min walk to the site I was into it and it was shaping up to be a good day with my first target a beautiful 1891 old head 3d, gotta love starting the day with a silver. This site has been gone over a few times producing some great mid 1800’s finds. Today though my choice was the CTX 3030 coupled with the CTX 17 coil so that I could cover more ground and work the areas further out from the actual ruin. I’m sure it also helped me hit a few deeper targets with one of the Britannia pennies coming from around 14 inches deep. From this point on it was target after target as I gridded the side of the hill, I was soon reminded that this site produces ridiculous amounts of spent musket balls, shotgun and 303 casings. Annoyingly, you just have to dig them because they sound very much like a gold sovereign, although near the end of my hunt I was leaving quite a few for next time. Every so often though the tell-tale squeal of my CTX 3030 would switch my mind into overdrive with thoughts of what was under my coil now. With every dig my confidence was growing when a really great condition 1851 Victoria young head penny surfaced, 1851 being one of the key dates and the first one I have found but unfortunately someone had put a hole in it.
I thought sooner or later George III would make his ghostly appearance after a solid 12:45 and a quick dig, there he was. This was a 1799, I could only tell by its size because it had been worn smooth much like the one I had found about a week ago at another site. The coins just kept coming when I hit an area with a lot of the later Victoria pennies and halves from between 1860 – 1879, 8 in total. They weren’t in very good condition but certainly great fun to find.
This was to be one of my best hunts for a long time after adding an 1857 Holloway pills & ointment token and a cricket buckle although very brittle and broken still a great find. There are still plenty of targets there and it won’t be long before you will be seeing part II of this hunt real soon, keep that coil swinging. Be a student of success, learning is living.
I laughed to myself as a quick scan across the paddocks revealed that the demented cow was safely locked away in an adjoining paddock. Wasting no time I headed for where I had dug out a good coin a few days prior but it was still way too muddy. I gridded an area between the two largest old trees at the site and hit a patch of relics before pulling a really nice 1853 Victoria penny. Happy hunting.