When a coin is spend worn

Half Penny William IIITwo decades ago I came up with a phrase I use a lot today: “Spend Worn.” It was born from finding Roman Sestertii that, although they had retained very little detail, curiously still had a lustrous smooth glossy green (or other) colour patination. It’s a term that does not apply to corroded, deliberately filed, defaced or mutilated coins, just coins where the details have been gently and gradually eroded. Since then I have used the term on numerous occasions and, while I don’t claim to have invented it, I first had it published in a Treasure Hunting magazine in 1999. So, if no one used it prior to that well maybe I can take the credit…. Read more of this post

Using and interpreting Google Earth

Metal Detecting FindLike many metal detectorists I use Google Earth to have a look at the land that I search and to scope out potential new sites. The Time Shift icon on Google Earth allows you to essentially go back in time, sometimes as far as 1945, which is fascinating research. This icon is particularly useful with crop marks, as some show up better under certain light conditions, with specific crops and when there are certain moisture levels in the soil. On one of the estates I searched, for example, I noticed a field that clearly had strip lynchets on it. These medieval plough lines normally show up as lighter and darker soil stripes across an arable field – on pasture they are best observed as the sun sets and shadow falls across the lines. Read more of this post

Metal detecting, whatever will you find next?

Out DetectingI guess many of us have had that so called ‘X-Factor feeling’ when a certain find just pops into your thoughts – a few minutes later you find it! Sometimes it might not be quite as quick – maybe you were talking to a mate a week ago about it, or perhaps even in the car on the way to the site. Whatever the case, doesn’t it feel good to show that find to the very people you talked to about it? It’s almost as if you have a rather satisfyingly psychic aspect to your personality…I chat a lot about Celtic Torques and Roman Coin Hoards but so far the X-Factor spirit has not helped me with these. Read more of this post

January’s Best Finds…

2015 has started with a bang with a fantastic range of finds posted on our social media pages. If your best find hasn’t featured this month, fear not! Be sure to upload your best finds from February to our Facebook and Twitter pages for your chance to feature in next month’s edition…

Medieval Ring Read more of this post

“Very Special Indeed” – Minelab And Their CTX3030

Something I guess that we are all used to these days is the hype and marketing thrown at us by companies trying to sell various products. In these modern times this has become completely normal for just about every new or re-vamped item that comes on to the market. Manufacturers are keen to use innovative advertising to attract our attention and focus it onto every new product that is launched. Just like a famous lager, many metal detectors are marketed as ‘probably’ the best at this and for doing that. However, what cannot be sold alongside the product are the persistent and always present variables involved in the ownership and usage of a metal detector.  Read more of this post

Metallic Objects In Building Material

Crotal Bell Packed with MortarHistory frequently records humans placing metal objects in building material as they are being constructed – a sort of ritual. Examples of this include several extremely rare Edward V111 pennies allegedly placed in the foundations of buildings that were constructed in 1936. Another example is several 17th Century Trade Tokens thought to have been found in building debris during demolition. I have two of my own examples of this, which have a varying degree of curiosity about them. Read more of this post

Minestrone of History

Detecting FindsThis is something of potential interest that I have been considering for some time now, and I’m sure it’s not the only case in existence. Yes, it is only a theory, but I can find no other plausible reason for such things. Read more of this post

Not For The Grot Box

GrotSome people would definitely call this coin a ‘Grot.’ Perhaps if it were Roman they would be correct although, having said that, calling any 2000-year-old coin a Grot may be a tad derogatory. However I digress and – to be clear – this coin isn’t a Roman issue anyway. It’s black in colour, which means the silver has oxidised. You can also see that it has been burned, which is not part of normal oxidisation. Read more of this post

When you are on a ‘run’

Metal Detectorist - Julian Evan-HartA ‘Run’ is what my colleagues and I would describe as one of those metal detecting days where you just keep finding. Sometimes others may do nearly as well as you but in my experience its usually just one of us that has a run at the one time. Sometimes it starts as soon as you arrive on site, with a good find happening almost immediately. This seems to spur you on and produce much positive thought, which in turn appears to attract further good finds. Read more of this post

Finding Treasure… Well… Sort Of!


Metal detecting has certainly taken me to some wonderful places, ranging from the flat fields of Cambridgeshire to the hot arid deserts of mid Jordan. What I did not expect on this journey was to find myself metal detecting in the attic of a huge house in Cockfosters. So, how did this happen…Well, a few days ago I had a phone call from a lady called Diana, whose husband John had hidden some valuables away when they went away on vacation. Months later she had asked him where these valuables were and so John went up into the attic to get them. The trouble was that he had put them in such a safe place that he couldn’t actually locate them at all.

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