Featured Highlights of my 2013 metal detecting week in England

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by lordmarcovan, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    This ca. 1300-1310 Long Cross silver penny of Edward I "Longshanks" was the first coin I found on my 2013 metal detecting trip to England.

    The pictures are just... OK. Considering my utter inexperience, I'm pleased with how they turned out. I finally upgraded to a dSLR camera, and these were the very first photos I took with it (not counting two unusable shots).

    The focus, particularly on the reverse, is not optimal, but this was a first attempt.

    Note the king's piggy little nose in this portrait. Medieval coin portraiture of monarchs in this era was, as many of you know, often more cartoonish than realistic. Not until the Tudor period in the mid-1500s did realistic portraits of kings like fat ol' Henry VIII again begin to appear on coins.




    Below are the data from my export pouch from the November 1-7, 2013 detecting trip to the Colchester area in Essex, UK. (Though the application says "October").

    These are my live "field reports" posted on the Collectors Universe forums at the time. (rather "quick n' dirty", since I had only a tiny Android tablet with me).

    This is the November, 2013 finds page from the club website.

    You can see my Edward I and Charles I pennies as well as my medieval trade weight, if you scroll down far enough on that club page. The Marcus Aurelius sestertius was found by another digger within an hour of my first outing. The gold thimble was found on the day I stayed in the barn after my detector failed. The gold quarter-noble and last few Celtic gold pieces were found within a day or two after my departure.

    The majority of the "Post-Tudor buttons" in the last two pictures were found by other diggers on the trip and were destined for the scrap bin. I thought it a shame to throw away historical relics like that, even such modest ones, and figured they might make fun giveaways later if anybody here wants some. So the other diggers "donated" some of their "scrap" finds to me to put into my pouch.

    Unbeknownst to anyone, it appears there were two coins or tokens mixed in with the donated "scrap" buttons, and I have no idea what they are! You can see them in grids #12 and 13 in the fifth picture. Looks like they're pretty bent up. They're obviously old, and look pretty thin- apparently hammered pieces. (Jetons, maybe? We'll see.) The other two copper coins to the left of them are the ones I personally found- a 1730 George II farthing and a 1916 George V halfpenny.

    I also deliberately saved one piece of 20th century scrap metal (that piece of WW2 shrapnel) because I had a hunch it was a relic of the Battle of Britain, and WW2 history interests me. To think that was probably fired from a British AA gun at a Luftwaffe bomber in 1940- pretty fascinating, eh?

    "Metal detecting finds for export found Oct2013. Location East of Colchester.


    1. 1641-3 Charles 1st hammered silver penny - mintmark 2 dots
    2. 1300-1310 Edward Ist hammered silver penny - Closed E, outcurving h- Cross pattee - Crown 1 - Type 10 cf3 Obv +EDWAR ANGL DNS hYB Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint
    3. Medieval trade weight
    4.18thC clog fastener
    5. 1500-1700 mount
    6. 4 lead musket balls/shot
    7. Post medieval lead bale seal
    8. Post medieval lead alnage cloth seal
    9. Post medieval harness ring
    10. 18thC crotal bell
    11. WWII AA flack shell fragment
    12. 8 clay pipe stems
    18. 19thC Rim fire cartridge cap
    19. Georgian mount
    20. Georgian draw pull back plate


    25 Post Tudor glass and pottery shards


    17 Post Tudor glass and pottery shards


    21 Post Tudor glass and pottery shards


    1. 13 Post Tudor glass and pottery shards
    11. 4- 18tht to 20thC copper coins
    14. 6 nails/tacks
    16. 6 buckle fragments
    19. 1500-1700 mount
    20. Georgian draw pull


    70 Post Tudor buttons


    54 Post Tudor buttons"
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  3. 01mikep

    01mikep Well-Known Member

    Nice to see a fellow detectorist on here. It's nice to be apart of two seperate hobbies that someone's cross paths. Double the excitement.
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  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I envy your being able to detect in Europe! That week in England was my one and only opportunity to hunt in the Old World, and was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, even though my finds were quite modest compared to those of the other people in the group.

    Truth be told, I'm a bit of a "washed-up has been" as a detectorist. I was very avid about it for 25+ years, but don't get out much anymore. I still remember it fondly, though, and like to relive my past adventures. And I'm not totally done with it yet.

    I note you routinely find Roman coins, which is awesome. I only saw one dug (by someone else) when I was in England- in the very first hour I was there. It was a Marcus Aurelius sestertius, though - not a smaller late-Roman piece, which was really cool! On one site (near the sestertius find spot, a few days later) I thought I'd finally found a small Roman, but it turned out to be one of those 18th century flat buttons with the shank broken off.

    As it happens, I have found one Roman coin, but bizarrely enough, it was right here in Georgia! (the USA Georgia, not the Eurasian one.) So my oldest coin was found in the New World. That 1300-1310 Edward I penny at the top of this thread is the oldest I've found in situ, dropped at the time it would have circulated. The Roman I found here in Georgia was on a colonial site, and likely lost by a collector in the late 1700s or early 1800s, based on the context of the site where I found it.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    PS- @01mikep (and anyone else who's a "digger")- I suggested to Peter that a metal detecting (actually, I prefer "Treasure Hunting") forum would be neat to have here.

    (I suggested "Treasure Hunting" because I also do a little bit of non-metallic hunting, like finding fossil shark teeth.)

    Haven't heard back from him, or made his acquaintance here yet?

    @GDJMSP - Doug- is Peter like the Great Oz? Does he really exist? ;)

    (Looks like he was last seen October 18th. I was just getting started here in October, though I originally signed up way back in 2007.)
  6. laurentyvan

    laurentyvan Active Member

    Great story there my hatted friend.:happy:

    The battle to get you there was a separate epic unto itself.
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  7. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    You guys make me jealous! I don't get out as much as I'd like... only been detecting for a few years. Haven't been out of the U.S. and my oldest find is a fatty IHC from 1864... only a few thousand years newer than yours ;-)
    Oxford Punter likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Ya know, it's really funny (to me anyway) that you should ask that question in exactly that way. That's because long ago I created something called "From Behind The Green Curtain" by using that same metaphor.

    That said, you should know your answer, for didn't you see the movie ? :D
  9. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Great finds, what machine do you use?
    Stevearino likes this.
  10. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Fascinating stuff!!

    I envy you guys!
  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I think you found some great pieces of history and that's neat
  12. 01mikep

    01mikep Well-Known Member

    I use a Garrett AT Pro on land/fresh water and a Garrett Seahunter in salt water. Both have been great.
  13. Stevearino

    Stevearino Supporter! Supporter

    I feel a bit foolish even asking this question, but here goes anyway. I almost bought a $30 detector on Black Friday but thought it was probably throwing my money away on a piece of junk. Years ago I had a respectable detector, but sold it to a friend after finding little on many outings. The first day he found a Barber dime in his front yard. Well, the question I'm asking is: before spending several hundred for a hobby I may not stick with, is it foolish to buy a $30 detector or would I be setting myself up for frustration? Thanks,
  14. Stevearino

    Stevearino Supporter! Supporter

    BTW, my Lord M, how did you find a tour that caters to treasure hunters? Is there a company that specializes in these tours?
  15. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Coins of Ancient Judaea Supporter

    What a great experience! I imagine that most of the members of this forum would jump at an opportunity like that.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I used a Garrett GTI-2500 in England but it died on me over there. I had a rain cover for it but must've gotten water inside the control housing when I hosed the mud off it back at the barn one night. I have yet to send it off for refurbishing and repair. Since returning home I've only gotten out a few times but bought a near-mint 1990s vintage Garrett GTA-350 for $125, to plink around with. Though much more basic, it is a perfectly adequate secondary backup machine for me. I have yet to hit silver in my very few outings since England, but the 350 did score me some 4"-5" deep Wheat cents, so I know it can find slightly deeper, older goodies. I used the model above it, the GTA-500, almost exclusively from 1992-2004 or so, and made most of my finds with that, during my most active hunting period in the late '90s.

    Steve- a $30 machine will find stuff, and people do get lucky, but generally speaking, that's a "toy". Last I looked, "real" working machines started in the $200s new, respectable midrange ones $300-500, and the high end reaches into four-figure territory.

    My late Garrett GTI-2500, state of the art around the millennium, was a $1000-ish machine new. I got mine used, via a coin swap, and added some accessories for another $150-ish. I will add, however, that the other five members of our England team all used the Minelab CTX-3030, a $2500-ish GPS-equipped bit of wizardry, and absolutely ran circles around me with their finds (partly due to equipment but also due to sheer skill). And I would say I did as well with my old $400-ish Garrett 500 as I did with the more feature-laden, $1000-ish Garrett 2500.

    The takeaway here is to suggest that you stick with a good $200-500 machine starting out- don't buy a toy but don't buy too much machine, either, until you know whether the hobby suits you or not. It is a wonderful adventure, but real work and definitely requires a huge amount of patience. This is why 70-90% (my guess) of all novices drop out after just a few fruitless, frustrating outings, and banish their still-new detectors to the closet. (I myself very narrowly avoided this fate and actually gave up for a year before I finally dusted my machine off and went out for "one last try", and unexpectedly popped an 1899 Barber dime. That broke the jinx. I had an 1875 Indian cent and a 1941-D silver quarter within an hour of that, and was hooked for life. Site selection is very important.)

    Also, because so many newbs drop out, you can find nice nearly-new machines at good prices on the secondary market. Note the 15-20-year-old Garrett 350 I'm using presently- I paid $125 for an older but near-mint-condition unit that cost $350-ish new and probably had less than ten hours of use by the original owner.

    I went with the Colchester group. You can reach their page by following the link I put in the OP. I had a good experience overall and their pricing was fair but I was not a good fit socially with my barnmates. We got along OK but I formed no fast friendships and clashed mildly with one colleague and our barn leader (more than half the blame due to me). There are many such tours. I chose this one because everything but airfare was included: room, board (spartan on both counts), ground transportation, site permission, export license assistance, etc- all legal and above-board.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  17. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Two things I have learned about metal detecting in the last 30+ years:

    • If you dream big and expect riches, there's a 99% chance you're gonna get "skunked".
    • If you're patient and use your head but have no firm expectations, when you least expect it, you're gonna pop a pleasant surprise that will thrill you.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  18. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Oh- one other thing (preached as much as a reminder to myself as to any of you):

    They have not yet invented the machine that will go out and get the goodies for you after you've left it in the closet.

    You have to keep 'em beepin', and put the coil to the soil!

    Persistence and patience are the key attributes, here, and using your head in selecting the right places to go. After that, it's mostly grunt work. You put in enough hours on the right sites with even a basic detector, and eventually your work will pay off. Expect many, many frustrations and disappointments, but if you're lucky, you'll get enough pleasant surprises along the way to stoke your enthusiasm and keep you going. There is nothing like the glint of a freshly-dug old silver coin to make your concerns about exhaustion, sore knees, and an aching back disappear!

    Luck is a big factor, always, but you'd be surprised how much a successful detectorist "makes his own luck" by hard work, patience, and persistence.

    BTW, they just clearcut some timber on the road where I live. Last time they did that, a little further down the road, a skilled buddy of mine went out where the woods had been, discovered an invisible, long vanished antebellum house site, and popped several old flat buttons and a 1798 Draped Bust large cent.

    Guess where I'll likely be on Saturday...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  19. New Windsor Bill

    New Windsor Bill Well-Known Member

    Wow, those are some great finds. Love it. Its a great hobby. Which metal detector do you use?
  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I used a Garrett GTI-2500 over there, until I accidentally killed it. Had a rain cover for it, so it was OK from Mother Nature, but when I was hosing the mud off it back at the barn, I must've gotten water inside the main control housing. Still haven't sent it off to be fixed, three years later. But I will, most likely. Bought an old but mint condition little Garrett GTA-350 to plink around with, in the meantime. I also have a Minelab (forget the model) that also needs repair.

    All five of the other members of my party in England used the Minelab CTX-3030 and totally smoked me. Ran circles around me and my Garrett, and found 3-4 times as much stuff. Probably had as much or more to do with user skill as it did machinery, though.
  21. New Windsor Bill

    New Windsor Bill Well-Known Member

    I have several machines including the Blisstool, A few different high end whites and a Garrett also a top model. The Blisstool blows the others away as far as debt. What a great hobby, I got to get out again once it warms up.Happy Holidays
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