Metal detecting holidays in England with the World's most successful metal detecting club.

Twinned with Midwest Historical Research Society USA

  • Archived News Sept 1st 2007 to 23rd Oct 2008

    23rd Oct 2007 Great finds and updates - new video posted

    I have posted the latest 'finds from the field' video to the members forum and it includes the oldest coin ever found here.

    Some more great finds made yesterday including this exciting Medieval silver ring brooch inscribed with a heart and two letters, possibly a love token ?. I am playing with a whole series of bronze artefacts including what looks to be a bronze roman key not in the reference books. All the pieces will be going off shortly to the museum for evaluation. I will be posted them to the latest hunt page Oct 2007 finds page 3. We also got another couple of new 17thC trade farthings for our collection, 1666 James Bonun of Sisted in Essex and the William Newman posted below. These are such neat artifacts as you get generally the date, guys name and his place of trade.

    17thC William Newman of Halstead Essex hammered copper trade farthing

    I have still got a back log of finds to post and will try and get some more posted shortly.

    13th to 15thC English Medieval silver ring brooch - inscribed with a heart and RU - reported to museum as treasure

    1.76g, 27.45mm dia

    This season we have found an exceptional number of stunning 1649 Commonwealth hammered silver finds that I have just posted to the Charles 1st page at the bottom. This is a facinating period of British history with the English Civil war and chopping the head of the King.

    Charles 1st page

    I have just updated the forum competition page with the latest hammered silver count that now stands at 105, check your guess here for the free weeks holiday.

    Forum competition page


    21st Oct 2007 It's official, oldest coin ever found here - Stunning hammered groat


    Roman Republican silver coin 126 BC

    3.50g, 17.12 mm

    Basildon Mark has found the oldest coin ever found here, our current oldest coin was 118BC. It is Mark's first one so what a way to start your collection, great find. Mark Lehman has just sent back his ID and views.

    'This one is a Roman Republican denarius of tribune/moneyer N. Fabius Pictor, struck at Rome in 126 B.C (RSC/Babelon - Fabia 11), .
    Obv: Helmeted head of Roma right, * shape behind head; (monogram form of XVI - indicating the denarius was now worth 16 Asses - it had only recently been retarriffed from its nearly century-long value of 10 Asses) control-letter below chin. (BTW, this coin exhibits the first example of the use of control-letters in the Roman series.)
    Rx: N FABI / PICTOR in vertical lines up to left and down to right of helemted and cuirassed figure of the Flamen Quirinalis Q. Fabius Pictor seated left holding apex (high-priest's ceremonial helmet) and spear; shield
    inscribed: QVI / RIN at his side; ROMA in exergue.
    Syd/CRR 517, SR 144.

    This is another really interesting piece, not unlike the odd Greek coin you occasionally turn up, because despite its worn state - showing it was in circulation for quite some time - it's really "too early" of a piece to be in Britain. Unless, somehow, this piece was carried ashore by one of the soldiers of Julius Caesar's ill-fated British expeditions - at which time it would have been nearly 75 years old - it would have had to be bartered for tin or other trade-goods in the pre-Roman era or been part of some hoard or treasure which had been accumulated on the mainland and later transported to Britannia. It would have been very unlikely to be a circulating coin at the time of Claudius' successful invasion - at which time it would have been nearly 175 years old.

    So, you're left with it either travelling to Britannia by means unknown c. 100-60 B.C., or possibly having been held as an old and curious good luck piece or similar item by a much later' Roman


    A lot of early long cross hammered silver is turning up including this stunning Edward III groat below. I have posted more silver and finds to the latest hunt page. I have completed another video of the guys out their finding stuff and will upload to the members area later.


    1351-2 Edward III hammered silver groat - Series C, Cross 1 Annulet stops, Standard type F


    4.51g, 26.73mm


    rev CIVITAS LONDON - City of London mint

    20th Oct 2007 Lots of new land ploughed and rolled - Roman ID's back

    Another new set of fields just ploughed and rolled produced several nice Roman finds including this stunning complete Roman reigns guide off a chariot or cart. Other great finds included a Medieval circular brooch, this stunning highly decorated Georgian solid gold cufflink and the first complete 17thC decorated sword hanger I have seen. Posted more finds to new hunt page click here



    A complete Romano-Britsh protected loop terret. The loop through which the reins would have passed remains. This consists of a sub-circular sectioned D-shaped attachment loop that is situated beneath a triangular ‘skirt’ that comes down over the loop to the front and back. At each side the skirt ‘flicks-up’ rather like a jesters hat. There are a number of these types of terrets known from Norfolk including the examples from Beighton and Tatterset (31569 and HER 33975). 44.61g, 45.75mm L x 32.50mm H x 28.28mm H

    Protected loop terrets are usually considered to be Roman and dating to the late first and second centuries AD


    Complete 17thC decorated sword hanger - 3 rivet fixing

    Mark Leham has just sent back the ID's of all the outstanding Roman bronze finds, great info and very interesting background to the finds.

    Gallienus 260-268 A.D 2.49g, 20.72mm

    'is a mid-late 3rd century AE antoninianus. The denomination was introduced, in good silver, in 215 by Caracalla - it contained one and one-half denarius' worth of silver but was tariffed as 2 denarii - things only got worse from there. Quickly debased, by the time of the crisis of the 260's, it was completely copper with a silvery wash (which seldom survives). The later 3rd century "Illyrian" emperors like Aurelian and Probus restored the coin to a better size and alloy, and although still silver-washed, the process was better so it stuck better. Eventually, it was phased out in Diocletian's reforms in the late 280's, but a new, wholly AE "radiate" fraction of the follis was retained with exactly the same reverse types as the former antoniniani. I guess everyone was so used to having copper radiates that they just continued the general module as a different denomination.
    You hazarded a guess that this was Tacitus, and as much as I hate to disappoint you, that's unlikely, since Tacitus, Florian, Carus, Carinus, Numerian, and the other last few emperors besides Aurelian and Probus in the era before Diocletian and the Tetrarchy were all relatively short-lived, so their coins tend to be a bit scarcer. My best guess here is Gallienus - I'm afraid I can't tell the reverse type aside from saying it appears to be a standing allegorical personification of some sort. It would date to his sole imperium, after his father and co-emperor, Valerian I, was captured by the Sasanian Shapur I in 260 A.D. - so the most likely time frame here is 260-268 A.D'.

    Magnentius 350-353 A.D 1.57g, 17.71mm

    This seems to be either a centenionalis which has been extensively chipped making it smaller than it started out, or perhaps it's a half-centenionalis. Since none of the obverse legend remains, it could be either Magnentius or Decentius and I won't be able to tell which of the two (although Magnentius' coins are far more common). This
    older-Augustus/younger-Caesar brother combo was around briefly in the 350-353 A.D. time frame. Having power only in the European West, their coins only come from the Gallic & Italian mints, plus Siscia. The reverse type is: VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAES. with two Victories holding a shield between them inscribed: VOT V / MVLT X over a cippus, or short columnar altar. It's their most common type, although the two of them are
    not, in general, what you'd call really common finds.

    Constantine 335 A.D 1.65g, 16.19mm

    'This is a "City Commemorative" - when Constantine moved his capitol to Constantinople in about 330 A.D., he issued coins in honor of both Constantinople and of Rome. This one is the CONSTANTINOPOLIS type with
    the personification of Constantinople in helmet left with spear over her shoulder. The reverse has no legend but shows Victory standing in the prow of a vessel, holding a spear and leaning on a shield. These were issued in a couple different waves. The earlies ones were larger, heavier and of better workmanship than the later types. This one probably dates to c. 335 A.D. or later - I can't read the exergue, so I can't tell you which mint it's from'

    Commodus 184 A.D 6.04g, 23.64mm

    Thus is an As of Commodus. This son of Marcus Aurelius was a fairly crazy bad guy who should never have been emperor, but wasn't probably quite the craven wacko that Joaquin Phoenix portrayed him as in the colorful but wildly historically inaccurate "Gladiator" - for one thing, he certainly didn't kill his father to become emperor - he had been co-emperor since 177 A.D. - 3 years before Aurelius' demiseCommodus did, in fact, appear in the arena in his later life - slaughtering wild beasts - and apparently thought he was Hercules re-incarnate.The obverse reads (or should) : M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS. Laureate head right. -
    Rx:: TRP VIIII IMP VI COS IIII PP S - C. Minerva standing right, resting on spear and shield.
    This one dates to 184 A.D., mint of Rome - catalog: RIC III 428, & SR 5894

    Severus Alexander 222-235 A.D. 3.36g, 20.26mm

    This one is an As too, but has neither enough legend nor a characteristic enough portrait for me to be sure which of the two most likely candidates it is, but I believe it's either Severus Alexander 222-235 A.D. or Gordian III, 238-244. Both were "boy emperors" who came to the throne in their teens and were both around a relatively long time as mid 3rd century emperors went - long enough for there to be a significant body of coins for both of them. Also, the one letter on the obverse which appears to be clear seems to be an "A" - and could fit into either of their names in about that position. I'm afraid I can't tell what's happening on the reverse of this one. Sorry I can't give you much more than that on the basis of the photos.

    Constantine 335-337 A.D 1.38g, 14.06mm

    Thus is another GLORIA EXERCITVS - this one is from the mint at Trier, although I can't tell you which of the Constantinians is on the obverse. The ones with a single standard between the soldiers date mostly to the period 335-337 A.D. or shortly thereafter. This is probably one of the 3 sons of Constantine, probably as Caesar just before Constantine's death.

    Aurelian - 270-275 A.D 2.08g, 17.59mm

    This a bit problematic. When I first looked at the reverse, I said "Aha! one of the Valentinian clan" c. 365-383 A.D. (although it's a bit late for Britain) because the reverse, at first glance, looks so much like the very common GLORIA ROMANORVM type they issued so many of - with the emperor dragging a barbarian and carrying a labarum, but as I look at the obverse, I'm pretty sure from what I seem to be able to read of the legend that it's an antoninianus of Aurelian - 270-275 A.D. I can't be all that sure of the reverse type, but it might well be one of the
    numerous ORIENS AVG types of which Aurelian had many, showing Sol in various postures and holding various attributes. Aurelian is significant in that he pulled-together what remained of the empire at a time when
    everything had gotten seemingly hoplessly fragmented - the Gallic empire in the northwest and the Kingdom of Palmyra in Syria were only two of the major issues he had to deal with - but deal he did, despite his advanced

    Magnentius ID 3.28g, 19.93 mm

    This one is either Magnentius or Decentius again - and again, no legend is visible so there's no way to be sure which of the two it is, although Magnentius is a good bit more likely. This is another Centenionalis, and shows clearly the sympathies of the Western Augustus and Caesar for Christianity - there was a good bit of disagreement over just how good an idea Constantine's choice of Christianity was at the time. The Chi-Rho reverse on this and the contemporary double-centenionalis left little doubt about the official position of Magnentius & Decentius.


    19th Oct 2007 Excellent days detecting - 9 hammered silver and nice do dads - more slots

    There is an usual demand for hunts this November so I have had to open up more accommodation on the availability page . There is just one slot left of the week commencing 2nd November and 2 slots on the 9th Nov if you fancy joining the guys. This year we are detecting to the 4th December as we have silly amounts of land to try and cover this season.

    Some really nice hammered silver and copper coins are turning up including this magnificent James 1st Shilling found by Cal Dave. The Elizabeth 1st coin is an unusual denomination to find, three farthings, one and a half pence, just slightly bigger then the common penny. Some first's for us here to add to our 17thC Hammered copper collection , 1664 William Hurbert of Harwich Essex , 1669 Weymouth Dorset - Francis Reed, Grocer, 1662 Jacob Miller of Colchester and William Bull of Bridport Dorset, These are hammered copper trade farthings, 1/4 of a penny and issued as small change by businesses.

    I have posted a load of new finds to the latest hunt page click here.

    1610-11 James 1st hammered silver shilling (12 pence)

    Bell mint mark 3rd coinage 6th bust- very rare coin as it should have 5th bust with this year and mint mark

    5.87g, 32.02mm

    Size comparison between Elizabeth 1st 3 farthings and a James 1st shilling (12 pence)

    1561 Queen Elizabeth hammered silver three farthings (1 1/2 pence)

    Pheon mint mark - 2nd issue

    1664 William Hurbert of Harwich Essex hammered copper trade farthing

    18th Oct 2007 New Oct finds page - more ID's

    Created a new finds page Oct 2007 finds page 3 to speed up load times. Uploaded a whole new bunch of finds including a Celtic harness cheek piece and some great buttons. I will upload a load more later including a very early looking gilded clothing fastener. I really like the Tudor clothing fastener posted below with the serpents head which is listed in my fastener book but we have never found that style before with the holes to sew to a garment, really neat find.

    Tim sent me feedback on the unrecorded 3rd Militia button find.

    '3rd Essex Local Militia gilt (b/m: Charles Jennens. London).

    This is the 3rd Reg't of the Essex Local Militia.
    Formed march 15th 1809, Disbanded 1816, for the Napoleonic Wars.
    Based at Colchester, Lt. Col.Com. John Bawtree.



    Stunning 16thC Tudor clothing fastener with serpents head - first one of that type found here

    Really crisp 1553-4 Queen Mary hammered silver groat (4 pence)

    Very rare find - Queen Anne 1711 milled silver sixpence love token in stunning condition - Late shield type


    15th Oct 2007 Catching up on finds - Beautiful Roman key - more ID's

    More great info in from Tim on the rare unrecorded military buttons we have found. Tim just sent me his latest books on UK Police - Collar, Lapel & Misc badges. Contact Tim on to get his on line books that cover Military and Navy buttons in great detail.

    Unrecorded 6th Regiment of foot button

    'It still appears to be unrecorded, but my research shows a gap between 1790 & 1810 with no picture of a 6th Reg' Foot button. So for the time being, it is in my book at that spot.

    Still unrecorded, but I have it in my book as the above'


    Unrecorded 13th Light dragoons button

    'Still unrecorded, but I have it in my book as the below ' Tim

    13th Light Dragoons

    Officer - 1800-1830

    Huge bronze 1st to 4thC Roman key 48.36g, 54.94mm L x 34.45mm W x 10.33mm T

    Really crisp showing mint mark, Mid 4thC Contantine Roman bronze 1.38g, 14.06mm - sent off for ID


    I am going to try and catch up on last weeks finds yet to be photo'd. More great Roman's have been found on two huge new sites we are trying to hotspot and I am sending the details to Mark Lehman today for their ID. Mark thinks we have found a very serious area by this mail he has just sent . I have several Roman looking artefacts which I have already dropped into the museum for evaluation from these sites. It will be interesting to see what they ID them as. I have posted a few finds to the latest hunt page Sept 2007 finds page 2

    'An astonishing group of finds - 3 nearly "uncirculated" denarii over a period of 70+ years shows significant economic action in that specific area for a long time, and by folks who evidently had just been paid with new coins - this is a very important site, a place where soldiers came to spend their money almost as soon as they had been paid (a Lupanar?) - I'd be interested to see how the Vespasian finally came out. Last image I saw, it still had a good bit of encrustation'


    Early Pompeian excavators, guided by strict modesty of the time period, quickly classified any building containing erotic paintings as brothels. Using this metric, Pompeii had 35 lupanares. Given a population of ten thousand in Pompeii during the first century CE, this leaves one brothel per 286 people or 71 adult males. Using a stricter standard for identifying Brothels brings the number to a more realistic figure including nine single room establishments and the Lupanar at VII, 12, 18-20.

    Brothels during this time period were typically small with only a few rooms. The Lupanar was the largest of the brothels found in Pompeii with 10 rooms. Like other brothels, rooms in the Lupanar were plainly furnished. A mattress on a brick platform served as a bed.

    14th Oct 2007 11,000BC axe head find

    What a tremendous eye ball find by Pennsylvania Christy off one of our Bronze age village sites, Circa 11,000 BC Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic) flint axe head. It could be possibly be Neolithic but the museum will evaluate the find. This has be a leading contender for our Find of the year.

    Circa 11000 BC Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic) flint axe head - one for the museum to evaluate


    12th Oct 2007 Another rare Celtic silver and more ID's

    What a great end to a fantastic couple of weeks with the Chicago boys. They got Celtic gold, Celtic silver, Saxon silver, Roman silver, early hammered silver plus huge amounts of great artefacts. The hunt ended on a high with a huge Roman key, large milled silvers and an amazingly crisp rarer 1554 Mary hammered silver groat, they don't get any better than this one. I reported three more treasures found to the local museum. Mark Lehamn is working on a batch of Roman bronzes I sent him for ID. We have found two new Roman areas on new land that are looking very interesting.

    'I got the Hadrian photos redux a couple days back. Very impressive improvement, as I noted, and it confirms the ID as Libertas on the reverse (I think I wrote all of this to you yesterday) - but what I was curious about was the Vespasian which had been so heavily encrusted but seemed to be in such pristine condition beneath the crust. I promised Lluis, my Spanish chemist friend, that I'd send him "after" pictures of the Vespasian.

    Commodus - portrayed (if not particularly accurately) by Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator",


    I'll need to take a bit of time with some of your new crop of photos, but I can tell you the next-to-last, the 6 gm, 24mm piece, is an As (I think, I don't see a radiate crown at this resolution and I don't have the time this minute to resize and tweak photos) of Commodus - portrayed (if not particularly accurately) by Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator", crazed son of Marcus Aurelius who actually did appear over 700 times in the Colisseum, slaying exotic animals. His last coins have him dressed in Hercules' lion-skin - he was pretty wacko by then - see: from my collection.
    That's Minerva on the reverse of your specimen.

    Also, the one you say "Interesting Reverse" about is an unusual piece - and I'm not altogether certain it's Roman - at least not normal, Imperial issue. It might be a provincial - I need to enlarge and tweak to figure out what I'm seeing.

    The third piece is a "CONSTANTINOPOLIS" city-commemorative of c. 330-335 A.D. with allegorical personification of The City in helmet, mantle & holding spear on obverse and Victory standing in the prow of a vessel holding a spear and leaning on a shield on the anepigraphic reverse.

    Your 1st piece is a late, AE anotoninianus, but I seriously doubt it's Tacitus.

    I'll write you more about these later'.


    Stunning 1554 Mary hammered silver groat (4 pence)


    I just got back the ID for the silver celtic coin found yesterday from the Celtic coin index and it is another rarer one.

    'Many thanks for this one. As I'm sure you already know it's a Cunobelin type, quite a scarce one too. The catalogue reference is VA 1949, and there are 29 of them in the online CCI:

    The obverse is pretty much unvaried throughout the type, with a simple CVN inscription in a panel, but the reverse has at least three different options in the placing of the inscription below the animal (which is probably a hunting dog). I think I can see the top of the M of CAM, for Camulodunum, on this one, but it will be easier to see when the coin is cleaned. I would also expect it to lose a bit of weight then, since 1.41g is about 0.15g heavier than usual for the type.

    I would guess the date of this type is fairly early in Cunobelin's reign, perhaps c. 15 - 20 AD. I'll record this one as CCI 07.1134.'


    Tim the button expert has send back a load of ID's for our interesting buttons finds. We still have a few outstanding ones posted on our ID forum Check them out to see if you can help with the ID's.

    Germany Navy Pre-1918

    French Infanterie de ligne (1871-1916)

    AM & Co Paris

    RN (Canada) Vol. - 1914
    In use 1914 - 1920
    Maler = No maker's name
    Normal - Right exit for rope

    RN Air Service
    In use WWI
    Officers Tunic Button
    Officers RHS Shldr Button
    British & Atlantic S.N. Co.
    The Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart for 1885 shows the British & Atlantic S.N. Co. with a white flag with red Prince of Wales's plumes in the centre

    S.M.R Volunteers

    Mounted Rifle Volunteers

    Unrecorded 6th Regiment of foot button

    Victorian Generic Military HQ Staff Officer

    Smith & Wright

    1840 -81

    11th Oct 2007 Cal Randy donates his treasure - Rare silver Celtic found

    Cal Randy has decided to donate his Roman silver ear scraper treasure to Colchester museum, real nice gesture and it will hopefully go on display for other members to enjoy seeing. Chicago Reid has made a rare find of a silver Cunobelin 1/4 stater, we have only found 5 Celtic coins and over 60 gold coins. Colchester is known for the disproportionate amount of gold verses bronze and silver finds so this is great result and the first from new land. I am trying to remove some of the crust by the 'cooking' method to see if any more detail shows through. I have sent it off to the Celtic Coin Index for recording and Philip's views. I have just posted a load of great finds on the Latest Hunt Page including some real nice hammered silver coins.

    10- 40AD Cunobelin silver 1/4 stater - very rare find - sent to CCI

    'cooking' it to remove crust


    10th Oct 2007 Final 'cooked' Roman - Ron's Celtic video posted - Celtic recorded

    Just got an e-mail in from Dr Philip de Jersey who run the National Celtic coin Index on the 10BC Celtic gold found this week. Philip is out of the office this week and cannot check the die types yet. If you find any Celtic coins then drop Philip an e-mail with photo's and he will record it and give your coin a unique CCI number. All Celtic coins found are available to view on line.

    'it's a nice looking coin. I'll record it as CCI 07.1130.
    It's a bit difficult for me to check die-links from here but I'll try and have a look when I get the chance.

    Here's hoping for a few more in the autumn!

    Best wishes

    I am still getting dozens of e-mails a week for ID help, please use the new foundintheground forums to post your find as I will not answer any sent to this address.

    I am still 'cooking' another Roman silver but have just about completed the one below.

    What an amazing result on this Roman silver found last week. It has been 'cooking' in the solution for just about a week and look at the stunning results I achieved by this method, what a beautiful coin now. I am going to test this method on some milled silver to see how it works and I will post the results.I have also posted the video Chicago Ron filmed when he found his Celtic gold stater on the members forum, amazing to see it by the hole before Ron rubbed it and his reaction when the horse appeared, priceless !!!.

    Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater


    CCI 07.1130.


    It rained like crazy here yesterday so the guys only went out briefly, some have headed to the Colchester Museum to visit Mass Bruce's axe hoard and our other treasures on display. I have a whole bunch of great finds to try and post today including a couple of new treasures, Medieval silver bodkin needle and an early silver engraved toggle.

    As dug
    Partial cooking
    Just about finished

    Mark made this provisional ID when it was in the 'as dug' condition, I have sent him the latest photo's for an update.

    Your piece (a) isn't quite as clear, but it's still easily recognizeable as a denarius of Hadrian, Trajan's successor, who reigned 117-138 A.D. This is from the enormous COS III series. Hadrian was consul only three times so almost all the coins from the end of his period have COS III in their reverse legends - those with only COS III as reverse legend date to 125-128 A.D.
    The Obverse legend is similarly simple, from the series with just COS III on reverse, the only Obverse legend was HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS - his laureate head right.
    The reverse is a little more problematic, since this series was struck continuously in the years 125-128 A.D., thre are literally dozens of deities and personifications - we have only the object (caduceus? spear?) to go on and even it is unclear in the photo despite tweaking.
    I am going to make a guess here - and further cleaning may reveal more detail which will change my interpretation, but on the off chance that the figure is holding a smallish, round shield before herself, that it is Minerva, standing left, legs together, holding small round shield low and spear. Aside from this, the only other possibility I see with the level of detail visible now would be Libertas standing left holding pileus (Freedom
    cap) and rod.
    Going with Minerva, this is RIC II 154, RSC 297 - if Libertas, it's RIC 175 or RSC 374

    As I look at further references, I'm leaning more towards Libertas - we'll have to see whether she's holding out that right hand and if so, what's in it.

    2.88g, 17.65



    8th Oct 2007 First Celtic gold of the season

    It took us a month ofreal hard hunting to make the first Celtic gold coin find. Chicago Ron found this while out hunting a huge field on his own and luckily he had his digital camera with him so he used the video option to film his find by the hole before he cleaned it. I will post his brilliant video on the members forum later. I have sent the coin off to the Celtic coin index for recording but this is only the second one of it's type we have found so I knew it instantly as a Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater.

    Dubnovellaunus succeeded Addedomaros to the Trinovantian throne about 10-5BC and ruled for several years before being overthrown by the Catuvellauni under the leadership of Cunobelin. The bulk of our Celtic gold finds are Addedomaros, Grandfather to Cunobelin, King of Colchester.

    Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater

    5.44g,17.57mm - CCI 07.1130

    7th Oct 2007 More early and late silver - Roman artefacts - Latest video- Celtic gold just found!!

    I have uploaded a new streaming video to the members area of the boys out hunting and Chicago Ron finding his Saxon silver sceat Ronnie is on a roll on this trip as he just mobiled me that he has found a Cunobelin Celtic full stater, sounds like a rare 30AD 'bigger type' with left facing horse. He is out there on the field on his own so he has no one to do the high five's with yet . I will get some photo's of it uploaded later.

    New land is producing a lot of real nice early and late silver coins and a number grotty Roman bronzes that cannot be ID'd. However yet another 1stC Roman fibula brooch was found taking the total 5 for the week and a really nice Roman bronze dagger quillion. There have been a number of really chrisp early jetton finds that I have have just uploaded a few to the latest hunt page. I have just uploaded a bunch of great finds to the new hunt page and still have a tons to photo yet including another nice decorated Saxon piece.

    1242-1247 Henry III hammered silver penny Class 8b

    Canterbury Mint - Moneyer NICHOLE

    1199 King John hammered silver penny Class 5b 16.78mm,1.10g

    Mint NOR (Northampton) - Moneyer ROBERT T

    Great condition 1826 George IV milled silver shillinh (12 pence)
    Stunning ealry 15thC Jetton
    not checked ref books yet

    6th Oct 2007 Stunning early silver and a gold nugget

    Les UK came for a hunt yesterday to meet his USA detecting forum buddies. Les has some serious Celtic sites of his own in Kent and bought up a wholes series of Celtic gold and silvers to show the guys. We were all hunting a new Celtic village site we discovered recently and Les found this amazing gold nugget. It weights 2.17g,and is approx 6.73mm dia. I took it with me to the local museum as I was dropping off a bunch of our latest treasures. The museum took a looked at it and said it should be reported as treasure so it will now go off to the British museum for tests. It could well turn out to be a Celtic gold nugget, what a great find. We need to go find the rest of the nuggets !! Yesterday saw another series of really nice early hammered silver including this stunning Scottish Alexander III, first one I have seen. Several very early c13th/14C Jettons were also found. The museum experts managed to ID an earlier bronze piece that turns out to be a c1000BC Bronze age casting plug. Uploaded a few more finds to Sept 2007 finds page 2


    c 1000BC Bronze age casting plug 54.75g, 31.09L x 27.77mm Wx 22.00mm H


    1280 - 1286 Alexander III 2nd coinage Class 1


    REV REX SCOTORUM - King of Scots

    1242-1247 Henry III hammered silver penny Class 8b

    Oxford Mint - Moneyer HENRI

    1242-1247 Henry III hammered silver penny Class 7

    Canterbury mint - Moneyer IOAN CHIC

    Richard 1st (1189 -1190 AD ) hammered silver short cross penny Class 2 X pomme

    Canterbury mint - Moneyer GOLDWINE

    4th Oct 2007 Cooking the Roman silvers and their ID's are back - uploading more finds

    I am currently 'cooking' the Roman silvers using that lemon juice and olive oil 'mix' and it is working a treat. Still more cooking to do yet to bring up the full detail and I have not started the 3rd one. Roman (c) I think it is a contemporary forgery of the period as it has 'swollen' due to a possible copper core. Mark has ID'd them below and they are early examples. None of the other bronzes found cleaned up so that we could ID them. A really neat Roman/British artifact was also found on the site. Not sure what it is yet as it could be a measure or even a disc brooch; might even be a Celtic circular woad grinding bowl ?. It has a suspension loop and I initially thought it was a Roman seal seal box lid. I am dropping a bunch of finds off to the museum this week so I will leave it for them to look at. I have uploaded more finds including a really nice seal matrix with animal impression.

    Romano/British period small bowl with hanger 35.86mm L x 24.99 mm W




    (a) Silver Roman denarius of Hadrian 125-128 A.D - 2.88g, 17.65
    Silver Roman Trajan (98-117 A.D.) 3.04g,18.24

    (c) Not 'cooked it yet' - Silver Roman coin 4.72g,18.99

    'wild guess it's a Flavian - more likely Vespasian or Titus than Domitian'

    'This is a denarius of Trajan (98-117 A.D.) From the "COS V" (5th consulship) in the reverse legend, as well as the form of the obverse legend we can date it to the period of 103-111 A.D. Further research and hoard evidence on the series dates this particular piece to 109 A.D.
    Obverse legend: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P. Laureate head right with light drapery on far shoulder. The legend expands to: Imperator Trajan Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus (titles indicating his victories in Germany and Dacia) Pontifex Maximus (Honorary high priest and head of the State
    religion) Tribunicia Potestatum (holder ot the tribunician powers) Trajan was much given to long-winded legends tending towards laundry lists of his honorary titlature.
    Reverse legend: COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI (Consul for the 5th time, father of the country, by the power of the senate and people of Rome, the Best Prince) Pax standing left, holding olive-branch and leaning on column.
    Catalog numbers for this piece are RIC II 126, RSC 83, and SR 3126 It's considered "common"

    Your piece (a) isn't quite as clear, but it's still easily recognizeable as a denarius of Hadrian, Trajan's successor, who reigned 117-138 A.D. This is from the enormous COS III series. Hadrian was consul only three times so almost all the coins from the end of his period have COS III in their reverse legends - those with only COS III as reverse legend date to 125-128 A.D.
    The Obverse legend is similarly simple, from the series with just COS III on reverse, the only Obverse legend was HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS - his laureate head right.
    The reverse is a little more problematic, since this series was struck continuously in the years 125-128 A.D., thre are literally dozens of deities and personifications - we have only the object (caduceus? spear?) to go on and even it is unclear in the photo despite tweaking.
    I am going to make a guess here - and further cleaning may reveal more detail which will change my interpretation, but on the off chance that the figure is holding a smallish, round shield before herself, that it is Minerva, standing left, legs together, holding small round shield low and spear. Aside from this, the only other possibility I see with the level of detail visible now would be Libertas standing left holding pileus (Freedom
    cap) and rod.
    Going with Minerva, this is RIC II 154, RSC 297 - if Libertas, it's RIC 175 or RSC 374

    As I look at further references, I'm leaning more towards Libertas - we'll have to see whether she's holding out that right hand and if so, what's in it.

    Your piece (c) is going to have to get a little cleaner or show a little more detail before I'll go out on any limbs with it, but if I'm interpreting what I believe to be the obverse correctly, I'm going to make a wild guess it's a Flavian - more likely Vespasian or Titus than Domitian - more than that I cannot say at this time.


    3rd Oct 2007 Lots of silver including Roman and Saxon - more new land - Latest Roman ID'd

    Silver Roman coin sent for ID - 3.04g,18.24

    The fields have weathering down really well with all this rain and we are now real getting depth with our machines. Chicago Ron found the first Saxon silver on new land which I sent off for recording and got back the following ID from Dr Martin Allen who runs the Medieval corpus database.

    'Many thanks for this Series D (Type 2c) (North 168), which I have recorded as EMC 2007.0239.'

    The guys also found 3 Roman silver coins again on a new site we have just started hunting, 2 in really good shape that I have yet to clean up. This site is 17 fields (700 acres) and they spread out trying to hotspot the area. Several Roman bronzes were found in poor condition plus some very choice hammered silver including two very early short cross hammered silver pennies. Another farmer has approached us to start hunting his land, not sure of the size yet but it has never been detected. I am well backed up with finds to photo and publish but I have just uploaded some really nice early hammered silver to the new hunt page

    Saxon C600 - 775 AD Silver Sceat

    1.16g, 10.98mm

    Series D (Type 2c) (North 168) EMC 2007.0239.


    Mark Lehman has sent this great ID on yesterday Roman coin, nice that it can be dated so exactly due to the wreath.

    It is perhaps "the" archtypical, mid-Constantinian era AE coin, the GLORIA EXERCITVS. This one, where the two soldiers have two legionary standards between them, is from the earlier emissions, c. 330-335 A.D. Considered together with the later, smaller module, single standard types (approx c. 335-345 AD, give or take a year on either end depending on the mint in question), GLORIA EX's were issued in the name of every one of the male members of the family of Constantine - in the case
    of the kids, they were represented both as Caesars earlier-on, and later as Augusti.
    This one has no remaining concentric legends beyond "GL..." on the reverse, no visible exergual mint mark, nor any distinguishing features about the generic portrait which would allow further identification as to the person intended among the list of folks who were portrayed on this series of coins at this point in time, so all we can say is that it could be either Constantine I, Augustus, or one of his surviving 3 sons - Constantine II, Constans, or Constantius II - as Caesar.
    However, there is one bit of information I can give you to elevate the ID above the totally generic - you will notice there is a wreath between the two standards. This is a bit of luck, marks between the standards (rather than as a part of the exergual mint marks) are very unusual for this series, so we can say this much at least:: this wreath "privy" or sequence mark between the standards was used at only 2 mints: Arles and Trier - so it can only be a product of one of those two Western mints. This mark also allows us to date it to: 333-4 A.D., the only years the wreath was used at either mint.


    2nd Oct 2007 Great finds - button ID's

    I have halved the size of this page to speed up loading times. March to June news 2007 is now on a separate page. Tim our button expert has sent back some great ID's of the buttons on Sept 2007 finds page 2 . I have posted a bunch more finds to this page with tons more to upload yet.

    Yesterday was fantastic in terms of finds as guys were spread out over several sites. 11 hammered silver were found and a couple were in mint shape. The guys are hunting really well as they got 3 cut qtr medieval hammered silvers which are the most tricky ones to find. I especially liked this James 1st penny first issue penny as they are rare to find especially in this condition. Another really nice Commonwealth 1649 hammered silver half groat was found. Two outstanding finds were made by Ohio Mike, he eyeballed a 8000 to 12000 BC flint arrow head and the find of the week so far a 13thC enameled heraldic shield pendant belonging to a very important chap, Robert FitzWalter. He had a hand in signing of the Magna Carter and his daughter was the Maid Marion from Robin Hood fame, amazing relic to find.

    8000 to 12000 BC flint arrow head

    Really chrisp 1603-4

    James 1st hammered silver penny - thistle mintmark 1st coinage

    Robert FitzWalter - enameled 13thC heraldic shield pendant

    Or a fess between two chevrons gules

    Robert le FizWater

    In 1206 King John refused to agree to Pope Innocent III's choice of Archbishop of Canterbury after his own choice had been rejected. Because the king still challenged the pope, in 1207 he was excommunicated (not allowed to be a member of the church) and an 'interdict' was issued by the pope.

    Because of the interdict, the churches closed and their bells fell silent. With the church doors locked, services could not take place. The dead had to be buried in fields instead of in holy ground. People could not marry in church and baptisms had to be carried out in church porches.

    King John's excommunication also let off the barons from their oath of loyalty to him. Because they might rebel against him at any time, King John acted quickly against anyone who looked as though they might be disloyal. We know from the Medieval Chronicles that Robert FitzWalter, the 3rd Lord of Dunmow Castle, was accused of plotting to kill King John during a rebellion in 1212. The rebellion was quickly quashed. FitzWalter was outlawed and fled to France.

    Eventually in 1213, the Pope told King Philip of France that he could invade England and King John finally agreed to the Pope's terms including his choice of Archbishop. Robert FitzWalter returned home and, with the other Barons, he made peace with King John.

    This did not last long, however. It was found that FitzWalter was still plotting against the King and urging for the government to be reformed. Because of this, his home in London, the Castle of Baynard, was almost entirely destroyed

    Taxes, during King John's reign, were very high and became ever higher.

    In 1214, King John left England to fight a war in France. To make sure the army had enough supplies, the king's Regent of the time, Peter de Roches, raised a very big tax on the barons. The war was lost and, as in the story, on the Kings' return, Robert FitzWalter called a meeting at Bury St Edmunds Abbey where it was agreed that the King must agree to the laws and freedoms granted to the barons in the charter of Henry 1st, or they would declare war on him.

    Robert FitzWalter led the Baron's army under the title "Marshal of the Army of God and the Holy Church." In the end, the King was forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede on 15th June 1215. Several copies of the Magna Carta documents still exist.

    Magna Carta means 'great charter'. To abide by Magna Carta, the King had to agree to certain laws and accept that his will was not above the law. It was not the first written document that put limits on the power of a king, but it was the first that was backed up by a council (of 25 barons) to try and make sure the king obeyed. It included a paragraph that said 'no free man shall be seized, imprisoned, disposed, outlawed, exiled or ruined in any way ? 'except by the lawful judgment of his peers?'

    John did not sign the document willingly and never intended to keep to it. In September 1215, just a few months after signing the charter, King John sent a message to the Pope asking him to annul the charter. The Pope agreed and excommunicated the barons that had signed it.

    As the fighting started again, FitzWalter slipped off to France and offered Prince Louis the English throne. Both Scottish and French armies invaded England. After fighting off the Scottish forces, King John's army changed direction to East Anglia, intending to quash the baron's rebellion. As his troops crossed the river Ouse on 11th October, they were caught by the rising tide and the crown Jewels sank into the Wash. Just a few days later, on 19th October, King John died at Newark.

    At the time of his death, the French flag flew over East Anglia. However, a French King did not rule England as no bishop would crown Prince Louis and many of the barons, who had rebelled against King John, now gave their support to his nine-year-old son Henry.

    When John became King on the death of his brother Richard in 1199, the treasury (money for running the kingdom) was nearly empty. His answer was to raise money through taxes and his reign was one of harsh laws and heavy taxes.

    At the start of his reign, while he was away from England, he left Geoffrey FitzPeter in control as 'Regent'. He was a harsh man and did not worry about demanding heavy taxes and gave the local sheriffs a free hand to collect these by any means. He became very unpopular.

    Like most Kings of the time John was ruthless. It was also claimed that King John killed his nephew, Arthur, in 1206, to make sure of the future of the throne. However, history may not have been very fair to King John. At this time the historians, or chroniclers, were mainly monks. These monks would have been in sympathy with the parties that King John was arguing with - that is the church and the rich estate owners (barons).

    King John's reign was far from all bad for the country. Many towns such as Cambridge, Ipswich, King's Lynn and Norwich grew rich as they were given 'charters' and encouraged to govern themselves. The towns benefited from changes in the way taxes were paid and could get income from taxing market traders entering the town.

    R. Turner 1994 argued that John "...had intelligence, administrative ability and he was good at planning military campaigns. However, too many personality flaws held him back". Unfortunately for King John, no king of the time could have run the country successfully without the support of the powerful Barons and Noblemen.

    What of Matilda's supposed murder and her links with Robin Hood?

    Robin and Marion
    The monk, Matthew Paris, writing in his diary some years later in the 13th century, mentions the murder of Matilda. He records that in 1234/5, Robert FitzWalter died and that "?y his first wife, FitzWalter had, with other children, a daughter, Matilda the Fair, called 'Maid Marion,' said to have been poisoned by King John."

    Matilda, his daughter, may indeed have been beautiful but very little is known of her life and death. After the rebellion of 1212, when FitzWalter and his family fled to France, it seems that he made his actions seem good, by saying the king was after his daughter and was plotting to kill his son-in-law.

    King John was not a pleasant man, but many historians do not believe FitzWalter's story. Robert FitzWalter had a shady past. He had surrendered Vaudreuil in France to the French king in 1203 under suspicious circumstances. So, whether what he did was because of King John's interest in his daughter or came from a wish for more power is difficult to say.

    The character of Maid Marion, like Friar Tuck, is not in the early ballads of Robin Hood. The character of Maid Marion probably came from an early French Pastoral romance ??he shepherd and shepherdess Robin and Marion'. Parts of this story and the Robin Hood stories probably merged and Maid Marion became Robin Hood's true love in the later versions of the legend.

    It is in Anthony Munday's Elizabethan "Huntingdon" plays; written in the 17th century that Marian becomes an alias employed by Matilda FitzWalter. A popular romance at the time was the legend of King John pursuing Matilda, daughter of Robert FitzWalter. Robin Hood or Robin of Loxley, if such a person existed, was not a well-known Nobleman but most likely a wronged landowner, fighting to regain his family seat.

    Dunmow Priory in Essex is said to be the resting-place of Robin Hood's Maid Marian. All that remains of Dunmow Priory is the present church of Dunmow; the south aisle of what was once a much larger building. However the story lives on, along with the many other tales of Robin Hood; and King John's jewels and royal regalia remain a treasure trove still to be found.


    1st October 2007 More Great Roman ID's from Mark

    We are keeping Mark the Roman expert busy this season with the finds from an amazing new Roman area we have discovered. His help is invaluable to discover the nuances of these coins and below he has expressed his thoughts on what we are discovering.

    The guys have made some very important discoveries including a decorated Saxon buckle which I have not seen in the reference books. I am taking a load of finds to the museum at the end of the week so they can take a closer look.The last week of rain has made a huge difference to the land and a large number of hammered silver coins have been found with 9 this morning alone. I have posted a load on the new hunt page with tons to upload yet.


    Saxon period buckle - classic circle decoration - one for the museum

    4.73g, 26.71mm L x 12.57mm W



    Roman bronze Id'd 21.17mm, 2.58g it's an antoninianus of Tacitus 275-6 AD

    Eventually, I was able to determine that what we have here is an AE antoninianus or "ant" of Tacitus, 275-6 A.D. This short-lived, elderly (75 yr-old) emperor succeeded Aurelian and very quickly came to the end of his own days after joining his army on campaign - the rigors of life in the field quickly proved his health to be more delicate than he thought.

    The obverse shows Tacitus' radiate cuirassed bust right - the legend is too unclear for me to try to quote it, and there are many possibilities, give or take a letter here and there - suffice it to say, it begins with IMP, contains the word: TACITVS, and ends with AVG - but the devil, as they say, is in the details.
    The reverse - which took a while to make sense of - is probably PAX AVG (it could be PAX AETERNA or PAX AUGUSTI - but these are much less likely from the letter-spacing) Pax is standing left, holding an olive-branch and scepter (although, given how vague the reverse is, if RIC gave "seated" as a possibility I'd say that was a potential interpretation, and if you said you saw a cornucopia in there too, I guess I wouldn't argue - but RIC only says "standing" and "scepter", under all the Pax varieties.)

    The obverse legend is too indistinct for me to be to be certain of the details, and the presence or absence of a single letter here and there would be all the difference there is between the possibilities, but this could be either Cf. RIC V, i Mint in Gaul, 33-44 or Mint of Ticinum, Cf. 146-149, or Mint of Siscia Cf. 186-7.


    More great feedback from Mark on this new site's interesting Roman finds

    you know, it's interesting - you get a fair amount of material in a few, fairly tight time frames - and yes, I know we're talking about different sites - but I am somewhat impressed by and not quite sure what to make of the fact that I don't think we've had any significant amount of later 3rd century material during the time I've been helping out. That makes this coin very interesting, since you seem to find little of the pre-Diocletian, Gallienus/Claudius Gothicus/Aurelian/Probus era of AE ants which tends to make up such a large demographic segment of pre-Constantinian era finds elsewhere.Coins of the Adoptives, of course - Constantinian era - one would expect in almost any place with an ongoing Roman presence - a few 1st century items and some tetrarchic, a few "erratics" (Greek, Republican - stuff that's really "too early"), but you seem to find very little of the sort of antoniniani/contemporary copy radiates material of the mid-later 3rd century.
    I wonder if this indicates anything significant - of course, there was the Gallic Empire during the earlier part of this era, but the Postumus-Tetricus material and the contemporary copies of the same time frame seem not to come to light often where you've been digging.

    Great ID and write up from Mark on that huge Roman found a couple of days ago. The guys found another couple today in great shape. This Commodus is rated 'scarce'.

    COMMODVS ANTONINVS Sestertius, Mint of Rome, 183-184 A.D.Roman in amazing shape - 19.24g, 30.75mm dia 4.22mm thick

    Today's sestertius is a fairly young Commodus - but not as young as I had guessed at first glance.
    Commodus is one of those "Royal Brats", who, like Caracalla, had a progression of realistic portraiture on his coinage - everything from a baby-book portrait to a brutally frank, "mature" image of a madman, just before his death at the ripe old age of 29. Caracalla looks every bit the cruel, brother-murdering, dissipate despot in his final coin portraits.
    Commodus' portrait-artists were a little kinder towards the end of his rule, but only slightly - this, however, isn't really the point today - just cited to let you know that on some Roman coins, not only are the portraits so realistic as to have you recognizing Hadrian's or Septimius Severus'
    look-alikes on the street today, but some of the longer-lived emperors who began their careers as child-Caesars can nearly be dated at a glance from the progression of the portrait - not unlike recognizing cars' model-years in the 1950's by the cut of this year's tailfin... Oh dear, I'm showing my age - and beginning to wander ( ;<{D}.

    At any rate, and returning to the coin at hand, so to speak, this is Commodus at the age of 22 or 23, in 183-4 A.D.. He was born in 161 A.D. the same year his father - Marcus Aurelius - succeeded Antoninus Pius after a very long term as Caesar himself. Commodus' first, baby-faced coin-portraits appear when he is only 12.
    I had to do a little guesswork since the reverse gives me so little to go on - but that arch of right-arm is distinctive enough to make me as certain as I can be - without actually handling the coin - that it is Hercules standing with arm atop grounded club.
    Interestingly - since in just a few years he would be styling himself as (and probably believing that he was) Hercules re-incarnate, very few of his coins feature Hercules on the reverse - this is a bit of luck for us, otherwise I'd have had to give you a very vague ID on it. This one, however, has just enough detail in just the right places to give you what I believe is chapter and verse. We can't be absolutely certain with so little legend remaining, but this is what I believe this to be on the basis of what detail I can make out - and because there are so few Hercules reverses from which to choose:

    Sestertius, Mint of Rome, 183-184 A.D.
    Obverse: M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG PIVS. Laureate draped bust right, seen from behind shoulder.
    Reverse: P M TR P VIIII IMP VI COS IIII P P. S - C. Hercules standing facing, head right, right hand on grounded club, holding bow and lion-skin in left.
    RIC III 399b - "Scarce"


    30th Sept 2007 Tremendous start to the new hunt

    Totally stunning 1672 Charles 1st copper halfpenny - best I have ever seen dug

    Some brilliant finds yesterday including Ohio Erics 3 Roman fibula brooches from a new Roman spot the guys have just discovered. Other great finds included a Roman centurion's standard bird mount and a very unusual early decorated prick spur, one for the museum to look at as it is not in the reference books. Chicago Reid increased his gold count by getting a real nice Victorian gold half sovereign along an old path, that's his 3rd gold including that stonking Roman gold ring currently with the British museum!! I have started a new hunt page to speed up loading times 2007Septhuntpage2 and have posted some great finds including a combination seal ring pipe damper, 17thC trade token and I have with a bunch more to post today. I have managed to ID 3 of the same buttons we found over the last couple of weeks, nice early Navy posted below.

    1852 Victorian gold half sovereign


    1stC Roman Dolphin type fibula brooches

    One piece Navy button



    Honi soit qui mal y pense (Old French: shame upon him who thinks evil of it)

    RN - Packet Service
    ( Mail & Supplies Delivery )

    Firmin & Co




    29th Sept 2007 Great Roman week - more cleaning tips - record you find spots

    Last weeks hunt was probably our best Roman week ever in terms of readable Roman bronzes I have ever known. A new site which we are just trying to hot spot, that was a village heath up until recently, has produced some amazing coins in superb condition for their age. They have obviously been trapped without oxygen or being squirted with fertiliser for hundreds of years. Even the coppers. Jettons and 17thC trade tokens are in exceptional condition. Colchester museum are currently undertaking an important project determining the spread of all Roman coins found in Essex. We physically take our Roman coins to the museum so they can play with them but you can record your Roman coins on line via the Finds template, check out the export page for more details.

    Mark has had an email in from a chemist friend in Spain who weighs in on the silver Vespasian denarius-cleaning question, very interesting.

    As you say, the coin look great in what is visible!

    That said, I do not think that the crust is horn silver, but seems to me more lime (calcium carbonate)...
    Anyway, both cases are easy to clean.

    -I would suggest that finder touch the crust with vinegar. If he sees some bubbles, then it is calcium carbonate, and soaking with vinegar (having always an eye on the coin!) will clean the crust.
    Perhaps some traces of silicate, that could be easily cleaned away with the trick of the pencil that Jerry explained to us (of course, could be erased also with the glass fibre pens from Commonbronze, but a pencil is easier to find....)

    [Mark's note: this is a technique brought up on-list a while back - gently rubbing a #2 or softer pencil-point over roughnesses on coins to clean them - the graphite is softer than the coin metals so it's generally safe]

    -If the crust does not bubble when touched with vinegar, then it could be horn silver.
    I would suggest that finder tries hardness with a point...Horn silver is soft and do not resist a blade of a knife...
    Horn silver is soluble in household aqueous ammonia (could be bought in a supermarket, or in a drugtsore). It smells very bad. Should wear glasses and gloves and better work outside..
    Let the coin inside the ammonia, tel quel, and see if there any evolution: should see flowing lines as if sugar is dissolving in water, indication that horn silver is dissolving in the ammonia.
    I could suggest to cover with butter the clean parts, to avoid attack by the ammonia.

    Avoid also light as much as you can (only to see progress).

    If a part is cleaned, then cover the cleaned part, and proceed till the whole is cleaned.

    -Then could be that it is calcium silicate. If so, finder should clean it mechanically (the glass fibre pen works very well). The reagents to clean a silicate are too dangerous to be used if you have not a labo....

    May you be so kind to tell me the progress on cleaning this coin?

    With best wishes


    1664 Joseph Gleson of Dedham Copper trade farthing
    1586 Hans Krauwincel II Rose orb Jeton


    1614-25 James 1st hammered copper farthing Type 3c Mintmark key

    Genral type Obv. IACO D G MAG BR (IT)


    1662 John Lawerence Colchester hammered copper trade farthing


    28th Sept 2007 Cooking a Roman silver - exceptional finds

    The rain over the last few days has make a major impact on the dry land conditions and targets are starting to come out from depth. Kentucky Allen found an amazing Roman silver almost covered with the 'horn crust' that grows on old Roman silver. Mark Lehman ID'd it for us and kindly discussed the issue on the UCR forum. Special thanks to Mark and his forum members for their input. I have posted the replies as they are very interesting and helpful, we used the lemon juice and olive oil to 'cook' the coin and it worked a treat. The crust on this coin was the hardest I have ever seen on an early silver. It has taken a couple of days of 'cooking' to make a dramatic change to the coin. It still needs a little more cooking but it is almost there now. What a beautiful find. I will post the final results when it is finished.

    Mark's initial ID

    Despite how badly encrusted this is, it's easily identified. It's Vespasian - a silver denarius of course - dating to 72/3 A..D.
    The reverse shows a lineup of sacrificial tools and vessels symbolic of the pontificate and augurate - (simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus) - above them, and not really visible on yours at the moment, it should read: "AVGVR" - Below the implementia, it reads: "TRI POT"

    The obverse should, when cleaned, read: "IMP CAES VESP AVG PM COS IIII". Laureate head right.

    RIC II 42, RSC 45

    As dug with 'horn silver' crust
    Olive oil and lemon juiced 'cooked'

    Here (below) are a couple of recipes from a friend of mine who's really quite the competent, multi-platform, technological wizard.
    I'd add that I doubt that what you're looking at is really "horn silver" - silver chloride - but is more likely a somewhat less reactive (and therefore, less damaging) form of encrustation. Actually, I'm surprised I didn't think to tell you about the aluminum foil & lemon-juice thing - but it's just as well I didn't, Bruce has added a tweak - using olive oil as a surfactant.
    If that doesn't provide the desired results, try the sodium thiosulphate.
    And if THAT doesn't work, you might try actual, electricity-assisted electrolysis. It will kill any natural toning or patina - but I think with this coin, that's probably rather far down your list of priorities.

    Using a 9v radio battery - the square ones with the snap-terminals - and a non-reactive electrolyte solution made with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, we call it here stateside - Don't use salt!) - it's easy to whip up a little, disposable electrolysis unit with an iron or steel nut for the anode and perhaps a deli-tub (not sure if you have these, or if so, what you call them - any disposable plastic vessel of at least 500ml will do fine - glass is OK, too, but there's no danger of smashing plastic tubs to splinters if you're as clumsy as I am)


    If it is 'Horn Silver' it can be removed. "Horn Silver" is a common name for Silver chloride, the silver counterpart to Bronze disease. It is a function of chlorides in the environment attacking the silver, it doe not need another coin. Your friend can remove it with sodium thiosulfate, that is common photographic fixer, and it should be available at any place that carries darkroom chemicals. I would mix it to the strength recommended for film. Place the coin in the solution, but watch it, and scrub about every 15 to 30 minutes. I have no idea how fast it will work.

    Since this is an old, real silver coin, he could try 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 4 ounces of olive oil, mix them well, add the coin, and place on a hot plate [I use the carafe-warmer from an old coffee maker] it takes about 30 minutes and most of the time a single treatment will remove the crust from a silver coin. The oil floats the crud away as the lemon acid breaks it down. I have used this method, it works fine on silver, but as you know, acids and bronze don't play nice!

    Jerry had things backwards and turned inside out. If you have two different metals and an electrolyte, either acid or base, you will get a galvanic reaction [ a battery], and one coin will be eaten. which way the reaction goes depends on the electrolyte and the metals involved. If you really want to know, I can look it up for you.

    If it is Horn Silver, it is like BD and is progressive and not reversible, but it can be stopped.

    Silver Nitrate is used to test for Chlorides, the
    AgCL formed is what precipitates out of solution, not Ag by itself: NaCl + in H2O + AgNO3 = AgCl + Na + NO3. AgCl is dissolved, that is one of the basic reactions for processing photographic materials. The problem mentioned with silver next to a bronze coin is electrolysis not bronze disease and is totally different.



    More great finds made yesterday include this early Saxon key. I have posted a bunch to the latest hunt page with a tons more to post yet. Some exceptional 17thC trade farthings and Jettons are turning up.

    C10thC Saxon bronze key 10.41g, 40.88mm Lx19.58mm W x 6.30mm T

    Another huge thick 1stC Roman in amazing shape - sent to Mark for ID 19.24g, 30.75mm dia 4.22mm thick

    Roman bronze 21.17mm, 2.58g - sent off for ID


    Mark has ID'd the Roman bronze posted on the 25th Sept 2005

    This one doesn't really provide enough clear obverse legend to be certain who it is - the "suspects" in approximate order of liklihood would be:

    Constantine I
    Constantine II, as Caesar
    Constantius II, as Caesar
    Constans, as Caesar.

    Constantines I & II are head and shoulders more likely than the other two.

    The only really clear letter is the "V" at 1:00 or so - this could be as in:
    ConstantinVs Max Avg
    Constantinus iVn Nob C
    Fl Cl ConstantiVs Nob C
    but very unlikely to be:
    Constans Nob Caes or Constantis Nob C

    This is a GLORIA EXERCITVS reverse, the earlier type with two standards between the two soldiers, although I suspect it's either a contemporary copy (a good possibility) or from the very end of the 2-standard era for these on the basis of its small module - for this era, 18mm or so is more appropriate. In general the 2-standard Gloria Ex's date to the period 330-335 A.D. Some mints switched over to the single-standard type as early as late 333.

    There isn't enough clear exergue showing to comment on which of the 13 Imperial mints might have produced it - if, in fact, was produced at an official mint.


    25th Sept 2007 Huge members video uploaded - some great finds turning up - Roman ID

    Another nice 4thC Roman find 1.71g,14.57mm sent off for ID

    Uploaded a huge video to the members area yesterday showing the guys out hunting, making finds and the presentation of the 'Coin hunter of the year' award to Florida Rolo. Another really nice Roman found yesterday on new land which I have sent off for ID. Some beautiful coin weights are being dug to add to our collection, check out the coin weight page here. Uploaded a load of other finds to Sept hunt page

    Superb, French - Two castle and 2 Lions (arms of Spain) 4 reales coin weight 13.06g, 22.12mm XX VIG 4R ( 5 gr)
    1619-25 Gold Laurel of James 1st, 3rd coinage coin weight XXs - 9,1g (actual weight 8.46g)

    Stunning, Figure on horseback type. These are Low countries or German made coin weights for the low countries Rijder, rijdergulden

    15.1 mm, 3.32g

    5 pennyweights and 8 grains coin weight - gold guinea

    This is the ID of yesterday chrisp Roman coin find

    this is Constantine I "The Great", dating to the period 325-27 A.D. Precise dating will depend on a bit of cleaning of the exergual mintmark.

    'The obverse is pretty straightforward: CONSTAN - TINVS AVG. Laureate head right.
    The reverse type is straightforward too (you had the image upside-down, but you meant to do that, right?)
    It's: PROVIDENTIAE AVGG. ("By virture of the Forethought of the Augustii") Campgate (some debate whether this was supposed to be a camp, a city gate, or just what, but they're conventionally called "campgates") of 6 tiers, no door, 2 "turrets" ( there's some debate about what those were, too - but that's a discussion for another day) and 1 star above - your basic "Constantinian campgate" AE3 - very common, but there are many who specialize in these due to all the possible sub-varieties - different numbers of tiers of masonry, door open, door closed, gate on foundation or step(s), decorations in top row of "bricks", number of turrets and stars, etc, etc, ad infinitum, for all the Imperial mints - and you can see how it could be a lifetime's specialty - so, be that as it may, the exact dating of this one will have to wait for a little cleaning of the exergual area on the reverse.

    This is from the mint at Trier, an exceptionally active and prolific mint for northern Gaul and Britain at this time. The mintmark appears to be: STR - "SECVNDA TRIERENSIS" that's the 2nd officina or workshop of the mint - so far, so good, but for exact dating I'd need to be able to tell what the little sequence mark is that follows it. I hope you are able to read this in HTML because I am going to insert a few characters here which won't make any sense if viewed in straight ASCI - $#! - a shallow "U" shape with either nothing within it, a small dot, or a larger dot or small asterisk-like star.
    If no dot or star in the $, the coin is RIC VII, Trier 461, 325 A.D. "R5" (extremely rare) from officina S But the frequency ratings in RIC VII often require a "reality check" - a certain snobbish, elitist attitude among the museum curators, collectors and scholars of 50+ years ago (when these volumes of RIC were being written) resulted in the keepers of the collections surveyed to compile these frequency ratings typically feeling such coins were "beneath their notice" and, in many cases, they allowed a few token, representative pieces to stand for the entire series. Add to this the astonishing amount of new material coming on the market in recent years with the advent of inexpensive metal detector technology, and a reality check is often in order when one sees an "R5" rating on something like this and an "R1", "S", or even a "C" rating on early gold aureii or solidi.

    With a dot - # - it would be RIC 475, 326 A.D., and "C3" (very common)

    If it's - ! - with the larger dot or asterisk-star within, it's not listed, but should be presumed to exist, and would be a slightly later series for 326/7, just before the advent of the GLORIA EXERCITVS 2 soldiers flanking 2 standards type.'


    24th Sept 2007 More great Roman bits and ID's

    Just posted a load more finds to the latest hunt page. Another great Roman bronze found in excellent condition, just sent off for ID. Mark Leham has sent the ID's of the stunning Roman found yesterday and the two earlier big ones, facinating.


    4thC Roman bronze 1.79g, 16.41mm



    Great condition Roman bronze

    6.45g, 27.98mm

    'it's Maximinus II, as Caesar - not to be confused with either Maximian or Galerius, both of whose legends are extremely similar-looking. And also, no relation to Maximinus I, "Thrax", from nearly a century earlier.
    It's a follis, and a nice, big, earlier one - before they were scaled-down to the size of a newpence.
    This one is a product of the mint at London, too - always desirable.

    RIC vol VI, London, # 89a, Summer, 307 A.D.
    Obv: GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB C. Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rx: GENIO POP ROM. Genius (of the Roman People) standing left holding patera and cornucopia.
    Exergue: PLN (?) this is where I have some issues on the basis of what I think I see in the photograph - it looks to me like "SLN" - and that would work if London had been striking in more than a single officina at that time - so SLN would indicate second officina, but, according to RIC, they weren't striking in two workshops in London at this time- so, maybe I'm just not seeing it correctly - it looks like an "S" to me although it should be a "P".



    Here are the ID's from Mark on the two found last week, facinating and quite rare.


    1stC Roman 17.27g, 28.42mm dia, 4.51mm thick

    The "guy riding the lion" is actually the Eastern goddess Cybele, whose cult was popular in Rome in the later 2nd century. Her "consort" (weird thing to call him under the circumstances) Attis, as the mythos goes, castrated himself and well as performing a related - ahem - amputation in order that he not be distracted in any way in the purity of his devotion to Cybele - so it was a cult with eunuch priests - whether, if the criticisms of the era are accurate and these ad-hoc operations were actually carried out on the spur of the moment by devotees in transports of holy ecstasy joining in the course of the parades and processions this sect was fond of holding, is something I tend to doubt - but the histories are, after all, written by the victors and they got to say pretty much whatever they wanted to, eventually.
    Cybele is seen here riding a lion - typically you'll see her either enthroned, flanked by her lions, or driving a trimuphal chairot pulled by lions. She's wearing a turreted headdress, and carrying a drum (also a typical attribute) and scepter.

    Now, we come to the issues this coin presents - it seems, from the size, as though it should be an As - but this type isn't listed for anything in AE except Sestertii in any of my references - and actually, at 28+mm & 17.27gm, it's really too large and heavy to be an As of the era, so it pretty much has to be a Sestertius. I have several sestertii of Commodus very close to this in weight - less than 20gm - in my collection.

    RIC III, Rome, # 599 AE Sestertius - 191 A.D.
    Obv: (all off-flan, unfortunately, but should be:) L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL. Laureate head right.
    Rx:: (Also just about all off-flan) MATRI DEVM CONSERV AVG / COS VI PP (in
    exergue) S - C (in fields)
    Cybele, "towered", facing, riding right on lion and carrying drum and scepter

    It's pretty scarce, too, rating an "R2" in RIC and carrying a retail estimate in David Sear's RC&TV of 2-3 times as much as the more common sestertii for this reign. Dating to 191, it's from the next-to-last year of his reign - by this time he seems to have lost touch with reality and was performing in the gladitorial arena on a regular basis (mostly killing
    animals) In this time-frame, he also had himself portrayed wearing the lion-skin headdress of Hercules (and Alexander the Great) on his coins with reverse type of Hercules' club - so, he was pretty well out there by the end of his reign.


    1stC Roman 12.49g,26.6mm dia, 3.97mm thick

    The other, less-well preserved coin appears to be an As of Trajan (98-117
    A.D.) It's actually a bit heavy to be an As, so it might be a Dupondius - however I can't see any traces of the radiate crown which would distinguish the denomination as a Dup...
    The reverse seems to be a "trophy" - a pile of arms & armor ceremonally set up after a battle in commemoration - a fairly common reverse for Trajan..

    See: for a specimen from my own collection, similar to what I think this one is -


    23rd Sept 2007 Posted a load of finds - another great Roman find

    Just uploaded some more finds including some really crisp early milled silver. Can Marjo found this beautiful condition Roman bronze that I have sent off for ID. Still no feedback yet on those other facinating Roman bronze finds.


    Great condition Roman bronze - semt off for ID

    6.45g, 27.98mm

    1696 William III milled silver sixpence - Early harp large crown York mint
    1697 William III milled silver shilling (12 pence)- Later harp small crown 3rd bust type

    19th Sept 2007 Interesting Roman coin finds and update

    I will be posting some more finds this morning onto the latest finds page. We are finding some rough old hammered silver coins at the moment but one of them was an excellent Elizabeth 1st penny

    Great feedback and history again from Mark Lehman on Cal Sarah's crisp Roman bronze find.

    2.93g, 19.67mm

    You're probably already aware it's Constantius II (337-361 A.D. - Constantine's youngest son and longest-surviving of his successors)- although the fact that it's his and not his brother's is not quite as obvious as you might think - older brother Constans shared the purple with Constantius until 350 A.D. and so had an almost equal number of the earlier types of FEL TEMP REPARATIO's struck in his name. It's the fact that the legend breaks where it does - DN CONSTAN - TIVS PF AVG - that shows that it's Constantius rather than Constans - his legend would break
    at: DN CONSTA - NS PF AVG for this issue. The new, silver-plated AE Centenionalis series replaced Diocletian's much reduced and abused Follis as a part of the monetary reforms of 348 A.D.
    and managed to produce some fairly nicely sized and well-worked coins before succumbing to the same economic pressures that did-in the Follis.

    The reverse type is one of those marvels of Roman symbolic art - they packed a lot of PR (some might say propaganda) into those reverse types. This was really one of the few venues for official mass-media in the proto-literate Roman era - which lacked any of the communication devices we take for granted like newspapers, etc.
    The idealized personification of the emperor stands boldly (perhaps remindng Yanks of a certain famous painting of George Washington crossing the Deleware River in the snow), he holds a radiate (Sol or Helios' radiate crown) Phoenix and a labarum (legionary banner with the Christian Chi-Rho symbol on
    it) - deftly blending pagan and Christian symbolism, foot (in mastery) atop the prow of a galley steered by Victory - you gotta love it! The legend is the well known FEL(icitas) TEMP(orum) REPARATIO - "Happy days are here again" (actually it's closer to "[to] the return of happy times", but not so much closer that "happy days are here again" is way off the mark) Before settling into the overdone, stereotypical "Soldier spearing fallen horseman" type, the FEL TEMP series produced some other interesting types - I'm also fond of the type showing the Emperor leading a young barbarian forth from a hut under a tree (or dragging him - depends on who you read...)

    Too bad the exergue is unclear - we won't be able to be certain about where it was minted unless a little careful cleaning in that area reveals some detail - I'll guess it's a Western European mint on the rather vague basis of "style". I was hoping the fact that there's no officina or sequence marks in the reverse fields might narrow down the list of possible mints some, but as it turns out, Antioch was the only mint which never struck this type without any fieldmarks.

    You didn't specify a diameter this time, but using your fingers as a rough gauge, I'm guessing it's around 22-24mm, right?
    This type in this size dates from the earlier emissions, post reform - mostly in the 348-351 A.D. timeframe before the AE2 (larger) module was completely replaced by the AE3's (smaller).
    Some folks call this denomination a "Centenionalis", although this terminology, like most of what we think we know about the denominations after about 310, is theoretical at best - it may also or alternately have been called a "Majorina" - or it might have been neither. We know the names of these denominations, but frustratingly, we don't know with certainty the coins to which they refer.



    I have just sent Mark a couple of really interesting huge 1stC Roman's found yesterday. The back of one is really neat and shows a guy riding a lion and is 4.51mm thick ? This is in amazing condition for a large bronze. The other one appears to have an abstract pattern and both were from the same field at each end so this area is worth a return visit.

    1stC Roman 17.27g, 28.42mm dia, 4.51mm thick

    1stC Roman 12.49g,26.6mm dia, 3.97mm thick

    17th Sept 2007 Some great coppers and buttons turning up.

    Still no rain yet but it is threatening to. Not much silver turning up apart from a couple of rough old hammered coins but we are finding some great early coppers and buttons. Guys hit two virginal new fields today and they showed great promise, huge numbers of targets but nothing really old yet . This new site is around 17 fields and we have hit 6 of them so far so lots more hotspotting to do yet. I have posted a few more finds on the latest hunt page.

    Stunning condition Irish 1760 George III 'Voce Populi' issue copper halfpenny



    1741 Portuguese 5 Reis copper coin

    Roman bronze signet ring - the face is worn but appears to be T 2.43g, 21.25 mmdia

    14th Sept 2007 Our museum displays - Roman ID'd - Posted more finds

    Great end to the second weeks hunt with more hammered silver and a really nice Roman coin and Bronze seal ring found by Cal Sarah. I have uploaded a few more finds to the latest hunt page with tons more to do yet. Yesterday the guys took the day off to visit Colchester museum and Cal Sarah took some great shots of our Treasures currently on display there. Mass Bruce's axe heads look stunning now they have been cleaned. I have uploaded the other treasure pictures to the museum page, they include, Mass Bill's 4thC Roman gold ring, Ark Gary's 17thC mourning ring and Ohio Bud's Saxon gold dagger pommel. Sarah could not find the location of our Celtic gold and Roman silver hoards so we will photo those on a return visit.




    Great feedback from Mark Lehman on a Roman find made this week.

    'The quick answer is that it's Trajan, 97-117 A.D. (Hadrian's predecessor) and so has every good reason to be in Britain. Given the diameter and weight, it would be an As - also, although perhaps just a tad heavy for an As at nearly 13gm, I see no traces of the radiate crown which would indicate that it was a Dupondius (2 Asses).
    Now, on the downside (for the ID) - Trajan reigned for 20 years during a time of exceptional internal peace and prosperity in the Roman Empire.
    During Trajan's reign, the Empire achieved its largest size, measured in geographical area His reign saw literally thousands of different types of coins struck, most of which circulated until they were worn smooth, this being the era of the "Adoptive Emperors" with financial stability for nearly a full century enabling these coins to stay in crculation so long. Many call this the "Golden Age" of Rome. Since there is so little by way of detail visible on the reverse of your coin, I doubt it's going to be possible to say much more than that it's an As of Trajan, since there is so little to distinguish it from the hundreds of other possible Trajanic reverses.

    An interesting factoid about Trajan's coins: Not only did the Empire achieve its greatest size under his reign, the coins became longer-winded under him than any other ruler. Some of his sestertii have such an extensive laundry-list of his titles that they can have upwards of 75-80 characters in the obverse legend alone, then go on at even greater length on their reverses. For those of us who must type-up cards to go in coin-flips, Trajan's legends can be very challenging to fit onto a 2"x2" fliptag.

    I'll try enlarging, tweaking and rotating the reverse image to see if I can make any sense out of it, but, as I said, Trajan had so many reverse types it may be hopeless'.


    13th Sept 2007 Double gold day - E-mail is flakey again - Saxon update

    1817 George III gold half sovereign - new coinage type
    1843 Victoria gold half sovereign

    Looks like the guys have finally put batteries in their machine and did the double gold. The George III gold coin is the first of that type I have seen and is in fact 'New coinage' when they changed from a Guinea to a Sovereign. Some nice hammered silver was found including a Medieval long cross and Charles 1st 20 pence and also some early 1800's milled silver. A really great condition 1696 William III half penny was found.

    The stunning Saxon silver coin found yesterday is a C600-775 AD Silver Sceat, Series C2 and recorded as EMC 2007.0228 on the Fitzmuseum database.

    Thanks also to Tim who has ID'd a few of our recent button finds posted on the latest hunt page

    MN - Wigram Line
    In use 1870 - 1915 ?
    Stewards Button
    Maker - Unknown
    British & Atlantic S.N. Co.
    The Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart for 1885 shows the British & Atlantic S.N. Co. with a white flag with red Prince of Wales's plumes in the centre
    Mounted Rifle Volunteers
    Victorian Generic Military HQ Staff Officer


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