Getting wet with my Excalibur

Summer is almost upon us here in Australia, so with the days getting warmer I took the opportunity to take my Minelab Excalibur II for a dive. I really enjoy spending an hour or so floating along just of the bottom searching for lost coins and relics. 

The area I was searching has given up a good number of old coins and two gold rings last summer, so I was looking forward to seeing what I would find this time. Working in about 3 metres (9 feet) of water, it wasn’t long before I had my first target, a modern ten cent coin. A few more modern coins and some bottle caps and ring pulls later, I had a solid signal. Setting up my GoPro, I started fanning away the sand which revealed a blackened ring, which I thought was a junk ring. Unfortunately when I got home and was viewing the footage I found I had set the GoPro to photo mode when I turned it on and only had a picture of the sand.

 

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A little while later I had another nice sounding signal and started fanning away the sand, then I was into packed shells, a good two or three minutes of fanning and I could see the bright copper tone of an old penny. This one was a 1962 Australian penny, so not as old as some I have found in the past. The interesting thing about the old copper coins is the way they corrode, they develop a black crust on them which rubs off to reveal a shiny coin, which are generally thinner the older they are. The interesting thing is that they don’t tarnish once the crust is rubbed off, even a year later I still have shiny coins I dug last year.

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The last target was a small religious medallion, being made of alloy it was quite corroded, and only a small portion is readable.

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All to soon it was time to head back to dry land. Once I was out of my dive gear I showed my wife my finds and she pointed out that the ring had .925 stamped inside! A very nice dive spent doing a hobby I love.

Until next time, I wish you all the best in your treasure seeking.

Mark.

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English silver and some ANZAC history

With a forecast of showers this morning, I set off to my favourite park in search of some history. I started in a corner of the park that I hadn’t been to before, but after a number of rubbish targets and a dog ID tag, I moved back over to the other side of the park to an area that had been producing some coins lately.

One of the first targets was an old .303 calibre bullet case, I like finding these because they often have a code stamped into the head which identifies when and where they were made. This one was no exception with “M.F VII 28” stamped on the head. This identified it as having been made in the Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 1, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia in 1928.

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Next were a couple of $2.00 coins, then a solid lower tone signal caught my attention. On digging it up, I initially thought it was a two cent coin from it’s size, however I noticed a small hole in the top and writing on it. Without my glasses I had to wait until I was home to investigate further.

It turned out to be a small commemorative medal, on one side was written ” Western Australia 1915, God Speed The Allies”, on the other was written “Struck In Honour Of Our Boys At The Dardanelles”. The Dardanelles is a  60km long straight connecting The Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara.  Because of the strategic importance of this area, on the 25th of April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps made an invasion landing on the Gallipoli peninsula at ANZAC Cove, this is where the ANZAC legend was born.

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After this nice little bit of local history, I soon had a solid high tone which turned out to be a 1941 threepence. Then only a short time later, that familiar high tone again revealed itself to be a nice 1909 Edward VII threepence. One more battered one cent coin was recovered before the rain set in, and I decided to call it a day.

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All up, despite the weather it was an enjoyable morning finding an interesting assortment of items.

Until next time, keep your coil close to the ground!

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Back to the “coin tree”

After having a fantastic hunt the day before with nine silver coins from around an old tree, I decided to head back to see if there was any left. Digging a couple of low tones in the hope of hitting a gold ring, but only adding to my increasing collection of ring pulls at home I finally had a solid 12-40 12-45 on the E Trac.

Looking down, I was surprised to see that I was less then a metre from a plug I had dug the day before. A quick scan with my pro finder had a lovely 1927 sixpence in my hand. Re-checking the hole produced another solid high tone, so back down onto my knee to have another look, and out came a 1927 threepence.

Two more copper coins were also around the area of the tree, a 1930 half penny and a 1916 penny; both badly corroded unfortunately. Moving away from the tree, the E Trac gave another nice high signal which turned out to be a 1940 sixpence.

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So remember, if you see a nice shady tree have a good look around under it as you never know what may have been lost in the past.

Happy hunting

Mark

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05/10/2013 Silver under the tree.

This morning found me back bright and early in a park that has been very productive for me over the last few months. I decided to head over to a tree that is off on its own, sitting like an island in a sea of lawn; where a couple of weeks ago I had dug four pennies and moved on in search of silver.

This morning though I was going to give the area around it a good going over, by starting near the base of the tree and working in a spiral pattern outward.  First target was a small brass knob, this was quickly followed by 1900 threepence. Not a bad start I thought, this first silver was quickly followed by an 1887 threepence and well worn 188? Queen Victoria sixpence. 

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Then I had one of those great high pitched screaming signals that was reading 12-47  01-48 on the E Trac that says big silver. sure enough in the bottom of the hole on the side was a worn, but very nice 1912 Australian shilling, unfortunately, I managed to put a small scratch on it.

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Just near the shilling another great signal reading 12-45 revealed a 1942 sixpence in nice condition. Then came a couple of well corroded half pennies, 1923 Australian and an unidentifiable english one. After the two coppers came three more threepence’s  1911, 1927 with a piece missing, and a very nice 1900 Queen Victoria.

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Aside from the pre decimal finds, there was the usual one and two cent coins, however this time the two cent, or what was left of it having been through the mower was New Zealand coin. A shallow signal produced a copper/brass earring and I also found another .303 blank round, this one having been fired. I enjoy finding the old bullet casings as often they have identifying marks stamped into the head. The marks on this one indicating that it dates to between 1895 and 1904.

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Finally after spiralling out to the edge of the trees canopy, I decided to move over to another part of the park for a look. A good solid signal saw a 1957 sixpence come to light, slightly green in colour, as it is 50% silver. It was about now that the weather took a turn for the worse and it started to rain. 

Not a bad morning though with nine silver coins coming from under one tree. So if you see a nice shady tree in a park, be sure to have a good look around it’s trunk and under it’s canopy.

Happy hunting.

Mark

 

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04/10/2013, A short spin on the beach.

After an extended period of cold rainy weather, we finally had a warm day close to 30 degrees centigrade, which bought out the beach goers. So it was down to the beach this morning, with my son Giles in tow to see if the depositors had been generous to us! I was using my trusty Minelab Excalibur II while Giles had his Minlab Exterra 305.

I also was looking forward to trying out a new toy I had bought in the form of a pair of sunglasses from Pivothead, with built in 1080 HD camera. I bought these glasses primarily for on the beach and when shallow water hunting as I can work hands free. 

After a slow start with a couple of drink cans and a plastic and metal coat hanger??, we at last started finding some coins. I managed a total of $5.70, While Giles picked up $1.20. Not bad for a short hunt after a minimal number of fine days. With cool rainy days upon us again, I know the fine weather must be just around the corner, along with beach goers with pockets overflowing with coin!

 

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Some of the rubbish.

 

 

 

 

 

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The good stuff 🙂

Catch you next time,

Mark

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Welcome to my blog and first post.

Welcome to my blog, I have set this blog up to show some of my metal detecting finds in greater detail then I can on my YouTube channel. Particularly the historical aspect of some of my finds. I hope you enjoy reading about my detecting adventures as much as I enjoy getting out there.

28/09/2013

I headed out early this morning to my current favourite park in search of some  silver coins and old relics. I headed to an area of the park where I had found four silver threepence coins in a small area last week and started swing my trusty E Trac. First target was a bottle cap, closely followed by a nice high tone target. What I dug up looked to be either a small gold ring or a  fishing rod eyelet! As it turned out it was indeed a ring, all though at first I though it was a junker due to the amount of corrosion on it, however a little while in the electrolysis bath revealed a small 9 ct signet ring with the stone missing.

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On the back, 9 ct was stamped into the top section.

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A couple of 50% silver sixpence’s came next. then I found a few silver threepence’s interspersed with the odd penny. Searching near the base of an old tree I got a good solid signal and retrieved a nice little plain silver ring, from the size most likely a child’s ring.

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On closer inspection at home I found instead of the usual .925 stamp, this ring had a set of proper hall marks. From the marks I was able find that it was stirling silver, made in Chester in the UK in 1910. The jeweller was Charles Horner, who was well know for silver hat pins and silver thimbles. What I found interesting was that Horner found that while silver thimbles where very popular, steel needles would go through them into the owners finger. So Horner invented and patented a silver thimble with a steel core. This is one of the reasons I love this hobby, finding out interesting historical information that you wouldn’t normally come across.

After a few more copper coins, old and new, I had a sweet high tone under my coil. This revealed itself as an old looking sixpence. At home I was pleased to see it was an 1896 Queen Victoria Sixpence.

All up I finished up with a nice mix of old and new, copper and silver.

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So until next time, good luck and happy hunting.

Mark

 

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