The first day of winter here in Perth, Western Australia began overcast and rainy. Being the dedicated treasure hunter that I am (my wife calls it other things!) I wasn’t missing an opportunity to head back to one of my favourite parks for some detecting. I hadn’t been going long before I unearthed my first coin, a lovely 1926 Australian Sixpence. Realising I had left my camera in the car, I started making my way back to retrieve it, but was stopped by another solid signal, this time a 1922 Australian Penny in pretty poor condition.
Now with camera at the ready I started searching again, noticing I was near an area where I had found an old silver ring last year, I thought I would have a look around this spot. A few swings later I had a jumpy signal, but from the tone it was worth digging, a soon had something short and roughly cylindrical in my hand; it then dawned on me that it was a thimble! Excelent I thought, I had never found a thimble before, and from the look and the sound it made I was hoping it was silver. If it were it would be Hallmarked so I could get a date off it.
After re filling my hole, I hadn’t taken a step before a solid 12/44 signal had me cutting a plug in the damp soil. A bit a search and I had a sweet little 1939 Threepence coin was in my hand. Moving over to an area that I had been planning to investigate soon netted another five silver coins and some crusty copper coins, one that I thought was a half penny turned out to be a 1980 Irish 2 pence coin. By this time despite having a waterproof CTX 3030 detector and jacket, my legs were getting wet and cold, so I decided to call it a morning.
Back home I couldn’t wait to clean the thimble to see if it was marked. After a quick clean I could see four Hallmarks, the first was clear “DLS”, this was the makers mark, the next one was I couldn’t read. The third was a clear “M”the year, and the last was again unreadable. From the two marks I had all the information I needed. The manufacture was David & Lionel Spiers of 27 Hylton Street Birmingham in the UK. The date letter was for 1886, 128 years old!
I was rapped, this is the part of this hobby that I love. While I’m always happy to find old coins, it’s the relics that are the best finds for me. They all have a story to tell. Was it a sunny afternoon a hundred plus years ago, the lady of the house was sitting in the shade of a tree doing embroidery, while her children played and the men discussed the latest arrivals to the colony when for whatever reason she lost her silver thimble? I doubt I will ever know, but I’m happy I rescued it from the ground and now it will have a new home.
Until next time!