All posts by MetalDetecting

Book on the Frome Hoard to be Released on October 11

The British Museum is releasing a book on the Frome Hoard!

Found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp, the Frome Hoard consisted of a very large roman pot filled to the brim with 52,503 Roman coins. The coins in the pot weighed around 160 kilograms (that’s 352.7lbs in old money), one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered! The coins are mostly third century radiates, some of them in a remarkable state of preservation. The book, titled simply ‘The Frome Hoard’, will be released on the 11th October 2010.

Denarius from the Frome HoardAbove: A Denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard. Photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Flickr photostream.

Another interesting point to note is that the British Museum still needs around £30,000 for conservation work on the coins, and 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the cost of conserving the coins and the acquisition campaign apparently being run by Somerset County Heritage Service so that the hoard can stay in Somerset and be displayed in Taunton Museum.

I’ll provide some more information on the book and probably a review when I receive my copy.

The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on

Lecture on the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet at Kendal Museum

The Westmorland Gazzette reports that there will be a lecture on the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet held at Kendal Museum on October 1st at 19:30. To book a seat call the Kendal Museum on 01539 815597 or email

You can donate online to the Crosby Garrett Helmet Appeal here:

Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Latest News

The BBC is reporting that an anonymous donor has not only pledged £50,000 to the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Appeal, but has promised to match every contribution to Tullie House Museum’s appeal fund pound for pound. No reports, as yet, on whether the appeal will receive money from those high-profile arts and archaeology funds mentioned in an earlier blog.

More on the donation from the Granuid.

The Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet now has an Wikipedia article.

You can donate online to the Crosby Garrett Helmet Appeal here:

Reviews of Metal Detecting Related Books

Over the coming weeks I am going to start reviewing metal detecting and metal detecting related books. I’m not going to stick to newly released titles, I’m planning to write up some very old treasure hunting classics and other books that have been around a few years. The first books I’ll be reviewing are listed here:

  • The Vale of York Hoard by Gareth Williams and Barry Ager
  • Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams
  • Treasure Hoards of East Anglia by Mark Mitchels
  • Romano-British Coin Hoards by Richard Abdy
  • Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting by Julian Evan-Hart and David Stuckey
  • The New Gold Panning is Easy by Roy Lagal
  • Various “golden oldies” by Ted Fletcher and others

I’m looking for reader suggestions for the new book reviews section. Which books do you want to see reviewed? Got strong opinions about a particular book? Whose books do you really like or whose books do you really hate? Leave some comments and let me know!

When the reviews are added to the main site, you can find the Metal Detecting Book Reviews here.

The Westmorland Gazette Reports on Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Appeal

The Westmorland Gazette has posted a story on the fundraising effort to keep the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet in Cumbria. The Westmorland Gazette reports that, so far, the public have donated £25,000 towards the appeal fund and that staff at the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery expect a large boost to the campaign fund “from high-profile arts and archaeology funds later this week.”

In the wake of the massive public interest in major metal detecting finds like the Staffordshire Hoard and the Frome Hoard, I had expected a greater level of interest in the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet from the general public. The £25,000 raised so far was a big surprised to me, I had hoped for a whole lot more after all the publicity and news coverage the helmet received.

No doubt the massive cuts to public spending and the threat of mass job losses have had an impact on peoples willingness to donate to any cause, but even in the current financial climate, I had hoped we could do better.

So it seems, for now at least, that the fate of the Crosby Garrett Helmet lays with those “high-profile arts and archaeology funds”. I hope that those who decide how the money in those funds gets spent will support Tullie House and provide them with the money they need to acquire the Crosby Garrett Helmet, not just for the people of Cumbria, but for everyone in the whole of Britain.

Interesting German Metal Detecting Site

I haven’t seen many English language sites from detectorists in Germany, but i found this one recently. He has certainly made some interesting finds, including a sub-machine gun from world war two!

It is a real shame that there aren’t more english language german metal detecting sites (or a great shame that I didn’t pay more attention in German class at school), as Germany has a very interesting history.

It would be amazing to find something that had belonged to a member of the Germanic Tribes who defeated the Varus Legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, probably the most shocking defeat of a roman army in the entire history of the empire, or even a coin or piece of armor that had belonged to a fleeing roman soldier.

The site of the battle Teutoburg forest was actually rediscovered by a British metal detectorist, Major Tony Clunn, who was serving with the British Army in Germany.

Our biggest visitor figures ever? Probably!

It has been really great to see so many new people signing up on the metal detecting forum and reading the blog over the last few weeks! However, it seems the spammers have given up on the forum for the time being and turned their attention to the blog. Fortunately the wordpress software handles spammers very capably indeed!

Our visitor figure for the last 31 days stands at 20,846 unique visitors – probably our biggest month ever! The page view count stands at 46,517.

This months numbers received a big boost after was mentioned in one major news story about the Korean Super Dollar, the discovery of the Crosby Garrett Helmet and being featured on a major social book marking site.

I just hope the server, which is long overdue for an upgrade, can withstand the traffic levels it is now receiving! It is probably time to start shopping around for a new one!

A great big welcome to all our new readers!

Precious Rocks, Gems and Minerals Magazine Partwork, Sample of Spanish Gold

A new partwork, called Precious Rocks, Gems and Minerals, caught my eye at the news agents today. On the cover, a small bottle containing pieces of gold leaf: Precious Rocks, Gems and Minerals Magazine Partwork, Sample of Spanish Gold
The gold in the bottle was mined at Spain’s Rio Tinto mines, where the Roman empire mined a great deal of its gold. I find it fascinating that this tiny sample of Spanish gold has its origin in the same gold bearing rocks that Romans mined to make their gold coins and artifacts!

This is the first issue of this new partwork and is available from news agents at the introductory price of 99p, the usual price being £4.99. Looks like it is going to be a great magazine for aspiring rockhounds, as each issue contains a different rock, gem or mineral sample.

Apologies for the terrible photograph, just a quick snap for now. The clear bottle containing clear liquid suspending small pieces of highly reflective spanish gold proved a tricky target for my digital camera’s auto-focus! I’ll add a better snap when I set up my mini studio and can light it better.

Alan Turing’s Silver Bars – Story From an Old Issue of Treasure Hunting?

Alan Turing’s Silver Bars – Story From an Old Issue of Treasure Hunting?

Anybody remember this story?

Alan Turing, the genius who cracked the German Enigma coding machines, was said to have converted all of his money into silver bars and then concealed them somewhere in Bletchley Park. At the end of the war, Turing returned to dig up his hoard using the map he had drawn when he buried the silver bars several years earlier, try as he might, he was never able to relocate them.

It seems a pretty unlikely story, but nevertheless, I am trying to find out where and when the story was originally published. I am pretty sure it appeared in an old issue of Treasure Hunting Magazine, but does anybody know which one?

Metal Detecting UK

Photographing metal detecting finds with a cheap digital microscope, Part II

A couple more shots with the cheap, perhaps too cheap, digital microscope. Roman coin of Gallienus:Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus - 218 – 268Roman coins picturing mythical creatures are among my favourite finds, so I’m glad this one came out pretty well!Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus - 218 – 268Not bad!

Now for a hammered silver:

Hammered Silver photographed with a cheap digital microscopeHammered Silver photographed with a cheap digital microscopeNot bad going! I was searching around on the web last night and found that Lindner (the coin and stamp storage box people) make a digital microscope that is similar in design to the one I am using but looks a lot better made, not to mention being a lot more expensive. Might be worth trying out some time!

Update: I’ve just heard from The Searcher Magazine that they reviewed the Lindner digital microscope in the August 2008 issue, on page 20.