Captain Kidd’s Treasure is a Big Lump of Lead

Captain Kidd’s treasure turns out to be a bar of lead!

Back in May we reported on the discovery of a 50kg (110lb) silver bar, recovered from what was believed to be the wreck of Captain William Kidd’s ship, the Adventure Galley, off the coast of Madagascar. The press quickly jumped on the story, claiming Captain Kidd’s treasure had been discovered.

Portrait of Captain William Kidd, captain kidd's treasure found in Madagascar?
Portrait of Captain William Kidd

The United Nations have released a statement saying that the wreck is not Captain William Kidd’s ship and the ‘silver bar’ is, in fact, 95% lead:

“The mission showed that several historic wrecks lie indeed in the bays of Sainte-Marie island,”

“However, what had been identified as the Adventure Galley of the pirate Captain Kidd has been found by the experts… to be a broken part of the Sainte-Marie port constructions.”

More on the BBC web site.

I have set up a forum thread to discuss this find, please comment on this story here or on the forum!

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The BBC Reports Captain Kidd’s treasure found in Madagascar

Captain Kidd’s treasure found in Madagascar?

The BBC is reporting that Captain Kidd’s treasure may have been found off the coast of Madagascar. What has actually been found is a single large  50 kilogram silver bar, believed to have originated in 17th Century Bolivia.

Portrait of Captain William Kidd, Captain Kidd's treasure found
Portrait of Captain William Kidd

Famed underwater explorer Barry Clifford believes the silver bar came from the wreck of Captain William Kidd’s (executed for piracy in London in 1701) ship.

Captain William Kidd after being executed in 1701. Captain Kidd's treasure found
Captain William Kidd after being executed in 1701.

Forensic tests will be made on timbers from the ship to see if it originated in England.

I have set up a forum thread to discuss this find, please comment on this story here or on the forum!

Follow us on twitter for the latest news on this and other treasure finds!

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J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token
J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station, Provision Merchant Opposite, Wholesale Depot, London N.W. George III Token. Georgian tokens are very common metal detecting finds.  Another George III token trying to look like a spade guinea. These are very common, almost as common as the George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming token I posted in an earlier blog.

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token
J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

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George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token

George III "In Memory of the Good Old Days" Gaming Token
George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token, 1797

George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token

A George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Spade Guinea Gaming Token dated 1797. Georgian gaming tokens are very common metal detecting finds and this example is one of the most common. This token was made to look like a gold spade guinea. One source I came across said that these tokens claims that they were frequently given out to theatre audiences as a memento or keepsake.

This post is part of an ongoing photo-blog series on identifying common metal detecting finds, in the future, I will try to post as many of the Georgian and Victorian gaming token types as I possibly can.

If you are interested in tokens be sure to have a look at Edward “Ted” Fletcher’s series of books about tokens (Leaden Tokens & Tallies – Roman to Victorian, Tokens and Tallies Through the Ages and Tokens & Tallies 1850-1950) available from your local metal detector dealer or direct from Greenlight Publishing, the same firm that produces Treasure Hunting Magazine.

George III "In Memory of the Good Old Days" Gaming Token
George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token, 1797

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Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton 1580-1610

Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton 1580-1610
Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton minted in Germany from 1580-1610

Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton 1580-1610

A very nice grade Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton dating from around 1580-1610. Although very common metal detecting finds, they are very hard to come by in good, collectable, grades. Greatly under rated as finds by far too many metal detectorists, Jettons are medieval hammered silver without the silver. It is believed that these tokens were used for accounting. This post is part of an ongoing photo-blog series on identifying common metal detecting finds.

For lots more information on Jettons and Tokens, Edward “Ted” Fletcher, the founding father of the hobby of metal detecting in this country, has written an excellent series of books on identifying tokens and Jettons that I highly recommend, they can be bought from most metal detecting shops and dealers, or can be ordered directly from Greenlight Publishing, who also produce Treasure Hunting Magazine.

Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton 1580-1610
Hanns Krauwinckel Nuremburg Jetton minted in Germany from 1580 to 1610

Metal Detecting UK

Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – Lead Tokens – Lead Communion/Church Tokens

Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – Lead Tokens – Lead Communion/Church Tokens

Identifying Metal Detecting Finds - Lead Communion/Church Tokens, Lead Tokens
Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – Lead Communion/Church Tokens

This postcard, dated around 1908, should be useful to anyone trying to identify any lead communion/church tokens found whilst metal detecting! These are lead communion or church tokens issued by several different parishes in Scotland, but they could turn up as metal detecting finds anywhere! This post is part of an ongoing photo-blog series on identifying common metal detecting finds.

If you are interested in lead tokens, be sure to take a look at Edward “Ted” Fletcher’s book Leaden Tokens & Tallies – Roman to Victorian, published in 2005 by Greenlight Publishing, the same company that produces Treasure Hunting Magazine, the book should be available from your local metal detecting shop, or can be ordered on-line direct from Greenlight Publishing. Ted Fletcher is the founding father of metal detecting in this country and what he doesn’t know about metal detecting finds isn’t worth knowing!

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Metal detecting ‘helping to preserve Britain’s history’

A nice video about metal detecting from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13637861

The Guardian’s coverage of the PAS annual report launch: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/may/25/metal-detector-ancient-england-maps

This will be my last blog post for the foreseeable future.

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Flatbed scanning and image manipulation technology have come a long way since 1997 when I first made Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain By John Y. Akerman, 1836, available for free on the internet! (See some of my earlier and more primitive scanning attempts here) So I have been revisiting this classic work to provide better quality images of the interesting woodcuts of roman coins contained in this book:

Roman coin - Allectus Adventus
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: Obverse. IMP ALLECTVS P F AVG. Imperator Allectus Pius Felix Augustus.

Reverse. ADVENTVS AVG. Adventus Augusti. Allectus on horseback, his right hand raised, his left holding the hasta: before, a captive seated on the ground: in the exergue, S P C.

A very unusual coin, for Allectus at least, this particlar reverse is very similar to the now famous denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard, found by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. Roman Coins and Their Values, 4th revised edition, doesn’t list this particular coin, could it be a forgery inspired by the Carausius denarius, or just a very rare issue of Allectus?

Roman coin of Allectus, Galley type
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: The classic coin of Allectus, the Galley reverse. RCV lists three different ‘Galley’ types.

See also: Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, Plates I-VI

Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold stater (right) and quarter stater (left) of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe (from around 20BC until around 9AD) and father of Cunobelin, that I found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit. Equipment used was a Compass Coin Pro II metal detector and a massive yellow JCB in place of my usual Black ADA. These photos turned out pretty well considering they were taken on the cover of one of my finds log books that was sitting on the boot of the presiding archaeologists car!

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Payment received by me for these two rare gold coins? £0.00p. If they were acquired by a museum after the Treasure Act inquest (I was not told what happened to the coins after that point) at St Albans Coroners Court, they certainly got a bargain! The FLO who attended the inquest as expert witness certainly seemed impressed. They are certainly among my all time favourite metal detecting finds! Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit forum thread.
Celtic gold stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

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