Victorian Silver Fourpence, and Four Romans.

Total finds yesterday: 4 romans, 4 copper grots, Victorian Four Pence, musket ball, cow's ear clip, 3 Tombac buttons.

What a contrast to my last metal detecting outing. Yesterday I was out with my nephew on one of his 'pay' permissions which we hadn't visited in quite a while . Mind you, we spent a good eight hours detecting, arrived at around 9am, left at around 5pm. What a perfect day it was weather wise too, wall to wall sun, no wind and feeling very pleasant.

We detected around the farmhouse first on the pasture fields but to no avail.. As the hours ticked away I remember feeling a bit despondent again. After something like five hours of detecting we only had a few copper grots between us and things didn't feel like they were going to get any better. But as we know, one of the key factors of a successful metal detecting hunt is persistence and boy, when my nephew and I are detecting together, we give it plenty of that.

The four Roman coins.

Lovely conditioned Victorian Silver Four Pence dated 1855.
Also known as a Groat.

The reverse.

We soldiered on, swinging our way around the edges of fields, corner to corner, up and down, side to side, looking for that hotspot. By mid afternoon we found ourselves at the top of the farm with just three fields to go. These last three fields did look promising as they had been recently ploughed and rolled with what looked like new grass coming through, not sure what crop it was, just looked like new grass and it was like detecting on a carpet.. As we dug into it you could still see the old crop of rotting stubble under it. After another unsuccessful attempt in the first of these last three we moved to the next.

BINGO...this was the one. I had just completed three edges of this field and was making my way along the last edge when a short way up the slope I had a cracking signal. It was a bit jumpy going from low 80s to low 90s on my Deus but didn't hesitate in digging it, it was just nice to see some high decent numbers for a change. Dug the first spadeful out, checked the hole, whatever it was is now out. Poking the clod with my pinpointer I found the source of the signal. It was a large round disc and very thick. Lead I first thought. on rubbing it a bit I was sure I could see some detail and then thought of a bronze roman. Quickly took it over to my nephew who confirmed it was roman. Nice one I thought, I'd only ever found two roman coins before and they were in very bad condition with no detail at all.

Okay, this roman coin wasn't great, but the little detail I could make off it was good enough for me, I'd found a roman and I was happy.
Now I remembered reading somewhere on the internet that when you find a coin work out from the find spot in circular motions, just to see if there are any others in the surrounding area. Well, I did this, and was only about three feet from the last hole when BANG, another great signal, again a bit jumpy, but good numbers. Out pops another thick disc and yes, it was another roman. In over two years detecting as I said I have only ever found two romans, yet here I was with two in 10 minutes.

It was turning into a good day and I was happy with my finds, but I wasn't finished yet. I fetched a couple of sticks from the hedge and marked the two roman find spots, just to see if a pattern emerged. By now my nephew had joined me in the area and we were giving it a good going over.
He had the next best signal, again only a few feet away, Yup, he dug another roman, few minutes later he had another one. Now we had four sticks poking out the ground.

As we were now on four romans between us from this little area you can bet we were thinking HOARD. Full of excitement we carried on. This was all new to us both and were enjoying every minute. As we carried on up the field the signals disappeared, nothing, not a peep. Looking back at the sticks we decided to have a go in the other direction back down the slope. Again only a few feet away from the others I dug another one, followed a few minutes later with another.

But alas, the signals dried up again. We searched and searched but it seemed that we had the lot. As we branched out from the area all we were finding was trash again, but we were happy with our mini hoard. I must have been in the middle of the field by now and had another lovely signal reading a steady 82 on my Deus. WOW, is this another I thought. Dug it out and had a prob finding it at first, but there laying in the hole was a tiny silver coin. In my hand I saw Queen Victoria and thought a nice silver threepenny coin, but on turning it over I didn't recognize the back. On giving it a little clean I could then read four pence 1855. Nice one, never seen one like this before let alone dug one,  so a first for me.

Just look at that clear blue sky.

It was a good day, one lesson learnt is never give up. Those finds are out there and maybe you don't walk over them one day but who knows what the next hunt will bring.

Monday 16 February 2014.


  1. Great finds shame the Roman coins are in a bad way but looking forward to seeing them.