It was a cold, windy and rainy morning when I headed out the other day. I was questioning my sanity at going detecting in these conditions, but given I was well rugged up, had a flask of hot coffee in the car and my Minelab CTX 3030 is waterproof, I really had no excuses not to go!
Looking on Google Earth, I had found a likely looking area not far from one of my most productive parks which dates back to the late 1800s, so I was hoping for some old coins to be about. About five minutes after arriving I had the first target under my coil, this was a halfpenny in pretty poor condition, but at least there were some old coins about. There were a lot of targets in this area, and I was kept busy recovering one and two cent coins and some modern money, which I never say no to.
In among the high toned copper coins I received a solid lower tone of around 12-35. After digging down about 5-6 inches, I had silver this time! A nice 1951 sixpence, so 50% silver to to be precise, but silver non the less.
Only a few minutes later I had a good solid signal, a penny I thought, but while it was the right size for a penny it felt a little bit heavier; but in the pre dawn light and with out my glasses I couldn’t be sure. One to check when I got back home. After a little while and two more pennies dug, I had my second silver coin in my hand, this one a nice 1943 threepence. A quick trip back to the car for a hot drink to warm up and I was back into it, however I only managed one more pre decimal coin and a couple of modern ones before I decided to call it a day.
Once I was home and sufficiently warmed up, it was time to have a good look at my finds. I was surprised to see I had dug 10 one cent coins and three two cent coins. When there are so many targets about you can lose track of how many items you have found. The modern coin count came to $14, all in $2 coins. Time to look through the pre-decimal coins, the one I wanted to look at was the one that had felt a bit heavier then a penny. On inspection I could see it wasn’t a penny and I thought maybe a medallion? Then after a gentle clean with water and a tooth brush I could see that it was a coin of some kind. A quick search on the computer and I found what I had was a 1907 2-½ cent coin from the Netherlands East Indies!
The Netherland’s East Indies, or better known as the Dutch East Indies dates back to 1603 when the Dutch Government created the United East India Company (VOC) which traded in spice. In 1800 the company was dissolved and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago were nationalised under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch were forced out by the Japanese during the Second World War, who were in turn defeated. In December 1949, the Netherlands formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty over the area that become the territory of modern-day Indonesia.
This is why I love this hobby so much, you never know what you are going to find next! And I always enjoy the history lessons that are waiting to be uncovered.