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Author Topic: What is it like to strike rich while metal detecting?  (Read 507 times)
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« on: October 02, 2019, 09:56:25 AM »

20 April 2019

Four years after finding a new hobby, Gareth Millward was about to experience the same rush felt by many explorers and metal detectorists before him - the discovery of "treasure".

Last summer, the 37-year-old, from Middleton in Derbyshire, literally struck gold when out near Ashbourne with his trusty metal detector.

When he started hearing the right noises, he began to dig, and to his amazement unearthed a rare gold coin dating from the reign of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty and the only Welshman to sit on the English throne.
How did it feel?
"It was unreal," Mr Millward said.

"I stood there with it for a while and took photos and rang people.

"I didn't know at first it was so unusual. I knew it was a medieval gold coin and would be valuable, but I didn't know which king it was and things like that.

"Within an hour, I found out and I was quite excited. It's hard to say, I can't really remember, but I was shouting about in the field."

Why take part in metal detecting?
Mr Millward has found a number of unusual objects on his trawls of the countryside, including silver coins and historical trinkets.

He said he spends as much time as possible out in the fields of Derbyshire.

"I got started as a bit of fun," he said.

"Me and a friend went halves on a cheap metal detector and went looking for stuff.

"I got quite into it and bought a better detector and it's become my favourite hobby.

"I go out 10 hours a week on average - unless it's raining, I'll be out."

Henry VII, whose reign the coin dates to, became king after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth
Luckily for Mr Millward, the hot summer of 2018 meant last July he was blessed with perfect weather, allowing him the chance to stumble across the long-lost coin, valued at about 4,000.

"At the end of the heatwave last year, it was a very hot day, and I went and knocked on the door of this house," he said.

"The chap let me go detecting and pointed me in the direction of the field he was happy for me to go in.

"I started and went towards this river, and within about 20 minutes I found it."

What did the landowner say?
Mr Millward said: "He was a little bit sad, because he said his dad would have loved to see it, but he'd died a few weeks before.

"He said I was allowed to keep it, so I've not had to sell it and split the money, which is nice.

"I've brought it back a few times for him to see it, and I've got to know the family."

It is one of just 15 gold coins registered with the PAS to have been found in Derbyshire, with gold coins making up 3.7% of coins the scheme knows to have been found across England and Wales.

Under the Treasure Act 1996, finders of potential treasure in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are legally obliged to notify their local coroner - and can face an unlimited fine or up to three months in prison if they do not report their finds.

As Mr Millward only found a single coin, he did not have to get in touch with the authorities, but by registering where he found it, he has helped experts to build a better picture of the country's historical record.

How significant was the find?
Alastair Willis, finds liaison officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, welcomed Mr Millward's decision to register the coin.

"It's quite good he came in to report it, because we don't get that many medieval gold coins, we get more Iron Age ones," he said.

"It's definitely an unusual find - you tend to find more things the further east and south you go in the country."

Mr Willis advised people to register any find with the PAS to help historians and archaeologists, and encouraged amateur detectorists to avoid digging into unploughed fields.

"If you're on ploughed land, you're not disturbing the evidence that archaeologists need to date the material," he said.

What will Mr Millward do next?
Mr Millward has kept the coin, which is the star item in his growing collection.

"I get quite obsessed with the things I find - they're beautiful, and the more I find, the more I want," he said.

"Unless I suddenly need some money, I'll keep it."

Mr Millward hopes to carry on ploughing the same secret plot for treasure - and it isn't the prospect of financial failure he fears.

He said: "What I dread is going back and seeing every man and his dog with a metal detector in my field."

* _106461002__81040214_161593884.jpg (83.8 KB, 624x624 - viewed 650 times.)

* _106459863__81040215_pa-1702575.jpg (67.96 KB, 624x624 - viewed 672 times.)

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boys life when he has a raging urge to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.

Mark Twain 1835 - 1910

If anyone wants to sell any S c r a p gold or sovereigns, regardless of condition -  ask me for a price first please.
Val Beechey
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 08:18:35 AM »

Thats a coin wed all like to find.   Lucky man.

Lucky man with a very generous land owner. Wonder if he knew how much it was worth when he said he could keep it ?

I thought Id done well when my land owner said I could keep my half Sovereign and thats only worth about 100   Grin

Ever Optimistic, it's out there somewhere - And I Found it
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Nihi nisi sub sole

« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 02:41:47 PM »

Well, having found a few gold hammies now, all I can say is that for the first couple I was almost sick, then got a bit bored (but sort of excited) - that was the hoard Smiley - I did phone a few people - the missus for instance who was disinterested as usual.

When I found the one a few weeks back, I genuinely thought it was a ring pull at first, then felt a bit disappointed as I thought it was another Edward iii 1/4 noble (it would have been no. 5) - then quite a degree of excitement that it wasn't and that it was a gold coin of Charles I (although of course I would have love to have found a nice unite). I texted the missus this time, and did feel a little sick again; I am neither confirming or denying whether I did a hammy dance....I was also reminded that my boy said I should have had my phone on me to take pictures of anything I found, so was a bit bemused that I hadn't.

The excitement was greater in trying to research any like it (I'm still looking as I've only found one sold in the last 20 years with this mm, and that was the 'other' type).

The downsides are that once you have found things like this, it takes quite some time to get excited about detecting when yet again you are only finding cow tubes and canslaw.....

Tbh, I'd rather find silver hammies and romans (of any sort) on a regular basis than the occasional amazing find with long periods of detecting drought in between.
Rob Two Spades
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XP Deus

« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 09:32:06 AM »

My hoard, found in July 2017, has nearly gone through the treasure process and a museum wants a third of the coins for 56,000.  Pretty cool Smiley

9 Hammereds - best: Edward IV Groat
46 Roman Bronze
1 Roman Denarius
Late Saxon strap end
2 Roman rings
2 Roman brooches
1 Roman Seal box

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