Category Archives: Identifying Metal Detecting Finds

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

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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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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

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector for comparison

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector for comparison

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector
Thought this coin would make for an interesting comparison with the Cartwheel two pence coins I posted a few days ago. Above and below: A cartwheel one penny coin found with a metal detector. The pitting and corrosion on this coin is a testament to the hostile soil conditions found in many places in the UK, and the high quality copper used by the Soho Mint in its manufacture. On a long enough time line, copper coins and artefacts exposed to hostile soils conditions, not to mention the chemicals used in modern intensive farming, dissolve away to nothing.
Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector

These photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed.

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An ancient Greek metal detecting find – coin from Thurium or Thurii

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – coin from Thurium or Thurii

Thurium bull ancient greek coin metal detecting find
This one is still my favourite, and oldest, metal detecting find of all time. A coin minted in Thurium, a Greek city in modern day Italy, in the 4th century BC. The bull charging right is a recurring motif on coins minted in Thurium. How it ended up next to a canal in Hertfordshire, I guess we’ll never know…
Thurium bull ancient greek coin metal detecting find

When I found it, I was absolutely convinced I’d found a Celt, but the British Museum later identified it as being an ancient Greek.

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Queen Victoria ‘To Hanover’ gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 to 1867

Queen Victoria ‘To Hanover’ gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 to 1867

Queen Victoria 'To Hanover' gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 or 1867
Queen Victoria ‘To Hanover’ gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 or 1867

A Queen Victoria ‘To Hanover’ gaming token or jetton, dated 1867. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of these were minted between 1837 and 1867 (at least the most recent date I have seen on one of these tokens or jettons is 1867, there may be later dated examples around, some are dated as early as 1830). The man on the horse is not St. George slaying the dragon, but the Duke of Cumberland on route to claim the crown of Hanover.

Queen Victoria 'To Hanover' gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 or 1867
Queen Victoria ‘To Hanover’ gaming tokens or jettons, 1837 or 1867

These photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed.

Cartwheel Twopence Coins, Cartwheel Penny Craziness

Cartwheel two penny coins

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyCartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyProbably my favourite Georgian coins, the Cartwheel pennies are a currency experiment that didn’t quite go as planned. They were created by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1797. Eight of these cartwheel twopence coins, laid side by side, measure exactly one foot, an unusual sort of anti-counterfeiting measure. They weighed exactly 2oz a piece, the one penny weighing  exactly 1oz. At the time they were produced it is believed that as much as two thirds of the copper coinage in circulation in the UK was fake. They were also the first official British coins struck using steam power.
Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho MintA quick and easy way of telling a cartwheel twopence from the one pence, without a side by side comparison, is to measure the thickness of the coin. A cartwheel twopence is 5mm or 1 fifth of an inch thick and the cartwheel one pence is 3mm thick.

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint

Soho mint mark beneath Britannia's shield
Soho mint mark beneath Britannia’s shield

Matthew Boulton and his Soho Mint also produced tokens for the East India Company. The millions of copper tokens salvaged from the wreck of the Admiral Gardner, wrecked on the Goodwin Sands on January 24/25, 1809, were produced at the Soho Mint on Matthew Boulton’s steam powered coin presses. Admiral Gardner was carrying 54 tons of the copper coins, which had been destined for use by the company in India.

These photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed. I’ve already added a couple of them to Wikimedia Commons.

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Early 17th century book fittings as the book binder intended

Metal fittings from old books are relatively common metal detecting finds!

Early 17th century book fittingsSome early 17th century book fittings as the book binder intended! This book was bound, probably in Oxford, in around 1618-1620. The book has undoubtedly seen better days and the repair to the spine is really quite unfortunate.
Early 17th century book fittings

Early 17th century book fittings

Early 17th century book fittingsOne of the most touching things about books like this are the personal notes about births, deaths and notable incidents made by the owners. This one also contains the recipes for folk remedies to various ailments.

Early 17th century book fittings

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