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

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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

Did Coinage Totally Cease When Rome Departed These Shores?

Bronze IssueThe answer to this particular question has been a pet interest of mine for some time. Local copies of coins were made in several stages during the Roman occupation of this island. However, it was what the ‘locals’ did after the Roman administration left that I often wonder about. Historically, trade and just about everything else slowly collapsed when the Romans left. Or was it rather that Roman trade and everything Roman collapsed? Some sort of stability must have survived. No doubt some sections of society quickly adopted the somewhat slacker old ways again, including systems like bartering, rather than continuing to use coins. 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

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

Guest Post: Ripping Off A Thousand Flowers?

Roman Brooch

Year on year, all kinds of Roman brooches are unearthed by metal detectorists. The example shown here is of a variety known as the Umbonate type. It appears to have been machined or lathed to quite a precise finish, as opposed to being cast. It is very thin having lost its 2000 year or so battle against the plough, amongst other things. And yet it still has its pin – something that is always a bonus with Roman brooches. Read more of this post