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.