Metal Detector Field Tests and Metal Detecting Related Book Reviews
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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.
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.
Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – Lead Tokens – 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!
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:
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?
Above: The classic coin of Allectus, the Galley reverse. RCV lists three different ‘Galley’ types.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe
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!
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.
The bad old days – finding hoards without a metal detector
This is how hoards were found in the bad old days, before metal detectors. Smashed to pieces by the plough! Illustration from the bookCoins of the Romans Relating to Britain By John Y. Akerman, Published 1836 (the book is reproduced in full at the link).
When archaeologists uncover hoards they are usually in the foundations of buildings. The classic example being hoards of Roman bronze coins (sometimes very large hoards) being uncovered in the foundations of Roman Villas and other structures. The Romans buried coin hoards in the foundations of buildings as offerings to the gods or household spirits.
The list of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain is long over due an update, let’s bring the list of the Thirteen Treasures of Britain into the 21st century!
I’m not talking strictly about metal detecting finds here, but also coins, artefacts, hoards, brooches, weapons etc. that may have been excavated by archaeologists, found purely by chance by people digging drainage ditches or ploughing fields, uncovered by barrow diggers or by workman renovating old buildings.
Mystery metal detecting finds – Roman dodecahedron
Ever found one of these? Roman dodecahedra are believed to date from the second and third century AD, and range from 4 to 11cm in size. There are many theories about what they may have been used for, but I believe they were used as portable personal altars, possibly to a water god or spirit, others have said that they may have been used as candle holders as some of known examples were found with wax on them. They are certainly one of the more strange items that you might uncover whilst metal detecting.
Roman dodecahedra are objects that may not be immediately recognizable to a lot of metal detectorists, and I have often wondered how many more of them might be out there! If you have ever found one, leave a comment or drop me an email.