Metal detecting holidays in England

with the Worlds most successful metal detecting club

Twinned with Midwest Historical Research Society USA

2012 Oct finds page


Primary Saxon silver sceat 600- 700 AD - 'cooking' it to clean off crust



Many thanks for this new coin, which is EMC 2012.0210, Series C1.

Good luck with the cooking.

Best wishes,



Exciting find. I was 'cooking' this sceat found last week and thought this silver is too pure for a sceat and then noticed the edge. It is a contemporary forgery with 2 thin sheets of silver over a base inner. First one we have ever found,


I have sent new pictures and an edge shot to Dr Martin at the Fitzwilliam museum for his view


1894 Victoria milled gold half sovereign

1204/5 John hammered silver short cross penny - Class 5c


Rev - *** ON LVNDEI - London mint

1820 George III milled silver shilling

1586 Hans Krauwincel II Rose orb Jetton


1215 Henry III hammered silver halfpenny

Moneyer Ricard of London mint

1544-7 Henry VIII hammered silver half groat - Third coinage It is a sterling (3 penning) of Naestved Mint under Eric of Pommerania ca. 1403-1412/1413. Obv legend- (star)ERICVS:REX:d:S:R. Rev legend- (star)MONETA NESTWED. Obverse features a crown, reverse features a cross. Note- The witten/hvid of 4 penning has a flower versus a star. Your coin reference is Galster #4."

and another...

"The king's title, REX D S N, alleges that Eric was the king of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (the three countries were united at that time). But that wasn't entirely true. Margaret I, who adopted him as her son, ruled those three countries from 1376 until her death in 1412. Eric was crowned king in 1397, but mainly to get around the problem that Denmark did not allow female sovereigns. (Margaret had had acted as "regent" prior to that time.) But despite his title, she actually ran things right up to her death in 1412. Just an oddity of history."
1569 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver sixpence 19thC livery button 19thC livery button
Stunning ecclesiastical 17thC silver seal matrix - reported as treasure to museum
10-40 AD Cunobelin Celtic silver unit - 'cooking to remove crust
Large Roman bronze hanger - suspension holes below
Roman bronze item - ornate buckle ?


Roman animal headed bucket mount
1901 Victoria milled gold half sovereign
dreidel (Yiddish: דרײדל dreydl, Hebrew: סביבוןSevivon) is a four-sided top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The dreidel is used for a gambling game similar to Teetotum. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for "נס גדול היה שם" (Nes Gadol Haya Sham – "a great miracle happened there"). These letters also form a mnemonic for the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nit ("nothing"), Hei stands for halb ("half"), Gimel for gants ("all"), and Shin for shteln ("put"). In the state of Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is inscribed with the letter פ (Pei), rendering the acronym, נס גדול היה פה, Nes Gadol Haya Po—"A great miracle happened here" referring to the fact that the miracle occurred in the land of Israel Army button Military button
1697 William III milled silver sixpence- Chester mint 1838 Victoria milled silver three half pence (for Colonial use)
1603-4 James 1st hammered silver half penny

1422 Henry VI hammered silver penny - York mint - Archiepiscopal issue

Quatrefoil with pellet at centre of reverse cross

1845 Victoria milled silver six pence 1906 Edward VII milled silver sixpence
1500-1700 mount 1634 Charles 1st hammered copper rose farthing
1826 London trade weight 19thC customs button Post medieval lead alange cloth seal
17thC button 1500-1650 buckle

1215 Henry III hammered silver half penny

Rev ** ON CAN - Canterbury mint

1696 William III milled silver sixpence Post medieval annular buckle 1500-1650 buckle
Neat turn of the century pill box - Savilla London

1215 Henry III hammered silver half penny

Rev ** ON LVND - London mint

1820 George IV milled silver sixpence
1856 Victoria milled silver three pence 1500-1650 buckle 18thC clog fastner
circa 13thC seal matrix
Great western railways button 1869 Royal Commissariat Staff button RN Capt / Commander - 1843 RN Lietenant - 1843 RN Master - 1843 RN Surgeon - 1843 RN Purser - 1843 RN Midshipman - 1843


The Essex Regiment

Back Mark - J Samuel London W1

Mizpah locket brooch 1247 Henry III hammered silver voided half penny
1830's Guild hall London trade weight 1972 West Ham speedway badge 2ndC enamelled fibular brooch
19thC hunting button UNITED KINGDOM MN - G & J Burns Ltd. In use 1842 Great condition 1719 George 1st dump issue half penny

1st to 3rd C Roman key ring

3rdC Roman bronze coin sent for ID

This is a relatively early follis.  As you probably know, the social and economic chaos of the 3rd century was finally brought under control by Diocletian and the tetrarchic system of 2 Augusti and 2 Caesars.  This monetary reform created a large (quite nearly the size and weight of a 2nd century sestertius) silvered billon piece the exact name of which we don't know, but is generally called a "Follis".

Of course, the stability of neither the political nor the economic reform lasted all that long. When the 2nd Tetrarchy inevitably broke up, it brought about the decades of strife, first with Maxentius and then the Licinii, that  Constantine I endured, finally becoming the unchallenged sole ruler of the empire in 324.

The most common of the many reverses the follis had over the years while it was declining in size (and buying power, as well, presumably) from the large, silvered "Æ 1" to its final issues c. 320, by which time it had shrunk to approximately the size and weight of a New Penny, was GENIO POPVLI ROMANI - or the Genius of the Roman People with the personification of Genius standing left, generally holding or pouring a libation from a patera.

That's what we have here - the reverse, at any rate, is easily ID'd as a Genio Populi Romani type.  The obverse and the question of who's on it gave me a bit more trouble.  The seemingly clear letters didn't easily fall into line with any of the names I generally associate with the early, large GPR folles - the members of the 1st tetrarchy and the 8 or 10 successors who variously were part of the 2nd tetrarchy, etc.- at first.  Then, when I realized what looks like an "X" at about 11:00 was in fact an "A" with an uncharacteristically widely separated top ("A's" generally didn't meet at the top in this era, but this is really unusually widely spaced) it became more obvious that MAXIMIANVS was the name involved.  Then we have the issue of what is following the name - generally, and most usually, it would be P F AVG - but it's obviously not.  In fact, the first letter after the final "S" in Maximianus is clearly an "N" - and that's uncharacteristically clear for this piece, so it must be a NOB CAES type ending - the title of a Caesar.  Maximian, Diocletian's colleague Augustus in the 1st tetrarchy was never a Caesar, however.

So, we must have a coin of the only other person who ever used the name MAXIMIANVS - a Caesar in the 1st, then Augustus in the 2nd tetrarchy, who is more commonly called "Galerius".  He was Caesar from 293 to 305 when he was elevated to Augustus on the abdication of Diocletian and his namesake Maximian.

Looking more closely at the end of the obverse legend, we see it really can't be NOB CAES, however.  It turns out to be an unusual NOBIL C and this plus the fact that there is no exergual mint mark on the reverse, instead of making it impossible to tell the mint, actually clearly tells us which mint produced it - the mint that didn't use an exergual mint mark for a while, but did use the unusual NOBIL C title - London.

So this piece is a product of the mint of London, a mint which has not been well represented among the pieces you've sent me for ID's.  You have an unusual "homeland" variety of the follis type, "GPR", which is so common across the rest of the Empire with exergual mint marks and/or field marks.  The reference is RIC VI London # 33 and it dates to 303-305 AD.


2ndC Roman bronze coin sent for ID

If, as you say, this is "sestertius sized", I'd have to say it evidently would be a sestertius of Claudius I on the basis of the portrait - the long neck is particularly associated with Claudius.  I can't really see what the reverse is supposed to be, but there were only a very few types of sestertius struck by Claudius.  One is an inscription in 4 lines in an oak wreath, and I think we can rule that out pretty easily.  The most common is a Spes type with Spes walking left, holding a flower and hitching the hem of her garment.  I rotated your photo of the reverse all different ways and couldn't get it to look anything like Spes, either.  The 3rd and last sestertius possibility is a triumphal arch with a large equestrian statue on top. - this is pretty unlikely, too, I'd say.

What I do see (or think I see) if you rotate the reverse image about 30º CCW is a figure seated facing left.  It turns out there is a Claudius Dupondius with this sort of reverse - the CERES AVGVSTA type - here's an example from my collection:

As you can see, the CERES type has a strong "ground line" - and the only fairly clear feature on your piece is a straight line we can see at the bottom of the photo.
If we guess that the reverse of your piece is struck off center towards the bottom, it's possible for this line to wind up at "the bottom" as it seems to be on your piece.

So, if your piece is a little smallish for a 1st century sestertius (those tended to be in the vicinity of 20gm) and is a bit more like the module of a later sestertius - it might actually be a dupondius of Claudius. It also might be a Dupondius for Divus Augustus by Caligula - see below.  If your piece is over 10gm, I'd say that's the most likely ID I can give it.

If your piece is lighter still, well under 10gm, there are a couple of types of Caligula with Vesta seated left on the reverse and left-facing portraits, but Caligula's portrait really doesn't look very much like Claudius at all.

So, I'm definitely guessing here, but if your piece is smallish for a sestertius (c 28-30 mm) and "solid" (but not "weighty", c 10-15gm) the Ceres Dupondius of Claudius seems to be our best match here.

Just for comparison's sake, here is a Vesta reverse on an As of Caligula:

he other piece with a left-seated reverse figure - a posthumous issue for Augustus by Caligula - is also a Dupondius, so it might be mistaken for a sestertius.  The portrait of Augustus doesn't look much like Claudius - but they're all in the same family so there are certain similarities.

Since I can't seem to see anything on the reverse of your coin but the bulk & legs of a figure seated to the left, these are pretty much the only reasonable possibilities I can see:

1st - Ceres Dupondius by Claudius,
2nd - Divus Augustus Dupondius by Caligula,
3rd - Vesta As of Caligula.

Perhaps you, with the coin in-hand, can make comparisions to these various photos and come to your own conclusion.



16thC Low counties coin weight - ship with Rose type 1550-1650 buckle 15thC lead token - type 2
2ndC Roman head stud type fibular brooch 1858 Victoria milled silver 3 pence
1839 Victoria milled silver 6 pence 19thC livery button 18thC Royal artillery button
1594-6 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver half groat Georgian silver thimble 15thC lead token - type 2
20thC badge 1572 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver half groat
1766 Dutch provinces coin 1922 George V milled silver sixpence
2ndC crusty Roman silver coin - 'cooking' to remove crust

1772 dated coin weight - these are pennyweights, abbreviated Dwt and grains

2 pennyweight and 18 grains coinweight

15thC gold noble coin weight

Ship with 2 lions type

1464 gold Ryal coin weight Roman bust mount


Victorian window light catcher

1855 French Napoleon III copper coin

1794 Halfpenny of Lancaster (d)

OBVERSE: IOHN OF GAUNT DUKE OF LANCASTER. Star under bust. A flaw gives an impression of a nose-ring. REVERSE: Shield with lion. LANCASTER HALFPENNY 1792. EDGE: PAYABLE IN LANCASTER LONDON OR BRISTOL

Very rare find for the Colchester area - 1stC Celtic Bronze unit possible Cunobelin sent to CCI for ID and recording - NY Carter
2ndC Roman bronze coin - sent for ID 16thC Low counties coin weight
Medieval harnress pendant Medieval gilded buckle chape
Interesting bronze widget - not sure of use yet

1413-22 Henry V hammered silver half penny - Type 7 broken annulets by crown


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

0.43g, 12.59mm

1344 Edward III hammered silver half penny - Florin coinage


Possible Reading mint


1344 Edward III hammered silver penny- Florin type


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

1247 Henry III hammered silver voided longcross 1/4 penny

Moneyer Stephe

Medieval long cross hammered silver penny fragment

Mid 4thC Roman bronze sent for ID

For the first one, with the handsome portrait "cameo" and the clearly distinguishable "Campgate" - probably actually a signal tower, but they still call them "campgates" - (you have the image of the reverse upside-down, BTW) - is probably part of the general, system-wide mint emission of PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (for Caesars, "...AVGG" for Augusti) Billon Centenionali (Æ3) campgates of approximately 325 AD.
These all featured a left-facing portrait if one the Caesars was portrayed (right-facing Augustii), so this would most likely be Crispus, Constantine II or Constantius II.
See, for example:

Mid 4thC Roman bronze sent for ID

  The portrait seems to be either some member of the family of Constantine or of the early Valentinian dynasty.  The reverse is not immediately recognizeable as any of the more common types of the era with that rectilinear shape and the clear "S" in the middle.  The only thing I can think of is the BEATA TRANQVILLITAS series with a globe-topped, stubby memorial altar with a Vota inscription, typically "VOT / IS / XX" for Constantine's 2nd Decennalia - these predate the PROVIDENTIAE campgates by 2 or 3 years.  The portraits faced both left and right on these for everyone so we can't make any determination of who, exactly is on the obverse.
See this one, for example:

That's about the best I can do with no legends of any sort visible.


Unusual medieval gilded buckle with hook arrangement

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny- Florin type



18thc silver clog fastener

1247 Henry III hammered silver voided longcross half penny

Oxford mint

1697 William III milled silver sixpence - love token
Georgian fob seal
1921 George V milled silver florin (24 pence) 1831 William IV milled silver sixpence
Medieval harness pendant hanger
Navy rope badge Worcestershire Regiment badge

1362 - 1369 Edward III hammered gold half noble - Treaty Period cross potent- annulet before Edw


19.16mm, 1.98g

1300-1310 Edward 1st hammered silver farthing - oval flan type 28d


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint


1594-6 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver half penny - Woolpack mintmark
1817 George III milled silver sixpence Medieval lead spindle whorl 1500-1700 mount

1369 - 1377 Edward III hammered silver penny - cross on breast - Post treaty - satire stops


This coin should be an Edward III Post treaty from York or London mint which has the cross on breast - this coin is a Durham mint - CIVI/TAS/DVN/OLM

Medieval buckle 1500-1650 buckle 1500-1700 strap mount 1500-1650 buckle
1500-1700 hooked hanger 15thC lead token

Mint Roman 4thC Roman coin - sent to Mark for revised ID

Shewolf & Twins reverse which is typically found on the VRBS ROMA, City of Rome commemorative, reduced-module folles introduced around 330 AD

You're correct in saying that I've probably given you a write-up on Constantine's city commemoratives of c. 330-335.  What's special about this one - aside, of course, from the unusually (for Britain) "very kind" diagenesis of the sandy soil - is the very clear PLG exergual mint mark for the mint at Lugdunum (modern Lyon).  The coins you tend to find have seldom had such nice, clear mint marks.  Aside from that, there's nothing particularly unusual about this piece.  There are some scarce pieces in the series on which there are additional marks on the reverse - wreath, branch, leaf, Chi-Rho, etc, but this piece has just the typical 2 stars in the upper field - these symbolize both the twins Romulus & Remus who founded Rome and the now "twin" capital cities of Rome and Constantinople.



Medieval Boy Bishop lead token 17thC lead token 15thC lead token

Roman 4thC Roman coin - sent to Mark for ID

This one is the other half of the "set" - the last one was an VRBS ROMA city commemorative with the personification of Rome as an armored female figure and the anepigraphic portrayal of the classic wolf and twins scene emblematic of and symbolic for Rome.  This one is the CONSTANTINOPOLIS type, with Constantinople portrayed as an armored female figure and the anepigraphic reverse with Victory standing in the prow of a galley sailing to the left, holding a spear and resting on a shield.  It would be interesting to be able to see clearly what the exergual mint mark was supposed to be on this piece - whether it was also struck at Lugdunum like the VRBS ROMA piece - but as I look at what remains visible of the tops of letters in this one's mint mark, I suspect that it's more likely to be from the mint at Rome, Arles or Aquilea, but there's too little visible to be certain which it is.



Medieval silver mount - reported to museum as treasure
Crawfords biscuits badge 17thC lead token 1500-1700 mount
Georgian watch winder Georgian spur 1652 John Vandewall of Harwich Essex hammered copper trade farthing
Very wierd 1247 Henry III hammered silver voided long cross penny - weakly off strike on a thick silver planchet

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

1603 -4 James 1st hammered silver penny
Medieval hammered silver penny fragment - CIVI TAS type Medieval knife quillion
Navy watch winder 1909 Edward VII milled silver sixpence
1561 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver sixpence 4thC Roman silver coin - 'cooking' to remove crust

1327 Edward III hammered silver penny

Obv EDW *** ANGL DNS H**

Rev CIVI/TAS/DVR/**E - Durham mint

18thC Royal navy silver cufflinks

St Johns Ambulance Brigade button 18thC monogrammed silver thimble 16thC gold on silver Tudor mount - reported as treasure to museum

1856 Australian half sovereign - Sydney Mint - very scare

A gold coin (19 mm diameter with milled edge) featuring a head of Queen Victoria facing left with the date 1856 below. The reverse features the word AUSTRALIA below a royal crown within a wreath of laurel and with the words SYDNEY MINT above and HALF SOVEREIGN below.

Medieval decorated buckle Medieval gilded harness pendant
18thC toy cannon 16thC button 1696 William III milled silver sixpence
1558-60 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver penny - First issue Lis mintmark

1180 - 1189 Henry II hammered silver short cross half penny - Class 1

Rev *LDWINE - Moneyer Goldwine


1247 Henry III voided long cross hammered silver penny - Class IIa


Rev RIC/ARD/ONL/INC - Moneyer Ricard of Lincoln mint

16thC Elizabeth 1st hammerd silver half groat
1584-6 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver sixpence 1857 Victoria milled silver sixpence

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

Medieval harness buckle

1344 Edward III hammered silver farthing - Type 1


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

0.33g, 12mm

1509 - 47 Henry VII hammered silver groat fragment

1361- 69 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3 - Treaty period


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3


Rev CIVI/TAS/CAN/TOR - Canterbury mint

1500-1700 mount 17thC knife pommel
17thC lead token Georgian seal matrix
Medieval hammered silver long corss penny 1603 James 1st hammered silver penny

1422-1461 Henry VI hammered silver penny - annulet issue


Rev VIL/LA/ CAL/ISIE Calais mint

1634 Charles 1st hammered copper rose farthing
1st C Colchester type Roman fibular brooch

1st C Aucissa type Roman fibular brooch Complete post medieval lead alnage cloth seal
16thC lead trade weight 1584-6 Elizabeth 1st hammered silver sixpence
Medieval bronze beehive thimble

2ndC Roman silver coin - cooking to remove crust

The first piece is an antoninianus of Gallienus - 253-268 - from the later part of his reign.  It was during his reign that Roman "silver" coins finally became so debased that they could no longer masquerade as silver without an exterior wash or plating of silver.  Obviously I can't tell you what the reverse type is.  Gallienus was probably the most prolific coiner of different reverse types in the Empire - there are over 1000 types listed for him in RSC, for example.

1603 James 1st hammered silver half groat

1344 Edward III hammered silver penny - Cross 3


Rev CIVI/TAS/LON/DON - London mint

1550-1700 buckle   First 1500- 1700 enamelled and decorated mount of this type I have seen
Georgian mount 2ndC Roman fibular brooch - type not Id'd
2nd C - 1st C La Tene type Roman fibular brooch 1st C Dolpin type Roman fibular brooch

Great condition large Roman copper - sent to Mark Lehman for ID

9.15g, 26.69mm

Due to the corroded state and the identification problems it causes, I'll need to take some time to figure out who's on the obverse and reverse, but this is a Roman Provincial issue from Markianopolis in Thrace / Moesia Inferior.  Inscribed in Greek, I believe this is a very unusual piece to find in Britain.  Although the mint cities in this part of Thrace / Moesia were extremely prolific in the 3rd century, this piece from the hinterlands northwest of the Black Sea is thousands of miles from home.  I haven't figured out who's on the reverse, either - and that may be the reason.  If it's a deity or personification of special importance to someone - for example, Asclepios to someone with health issues - (although this definitely isn't Asklepios) might be a reason for someone to have carried this piece 2 or 3 thousand miles from one end of the Empire to the other.  I doubt it was considered "legal tender" in Britain at the time - these were local issues denominated for local trade in Moesia.

I'll get back to you when/if I can figure out who the emperor & reverse characters are.

Giving the obverse a 2nd look, I believe this is Elagabalus.  If I can figure out enough of the legend to be certain, I'll let you know.


On closer inspection, I am pretty well convinced that this is Severus Alexander (the last member of the Severan Dynasty) 222-235 AD.  As I said, it's from Markianopolis in Moesia Inferior (approximately Bulgaria/Romania today) one of the most prolific local "Provincial" mints in the Roman East.  It produced a local currency denominated in "Assaria" - this piece is a "Pentassarion", or 5 Assaria.  The legends are all in Greek - I believe I already mentioned this.  The Provincial mints struck in the local language and by the 3rd century the vast majority of the citizens of the Roman Empire spoke Greek exclusively.

I'm not sure why this text is tabbing beyond this point after I pasted-in the Greek legends, and I can't seem to change it, so good luck if you're posting to the website.  It's pretty weird.

The legend on the reverse names 1st the magistrate, then gives the "ethnic" - the name of the issuing locale:

The magistrate is Tiberius Julius Festus.
So far as I can tell - and the prolific Provincial mints Like Markianopolis had dozens and dozens of reverse types for the longer-lived rulers - the allegorical personification on the reverse of this one is Hygeia (the Roman Salus) standing right and feeding from a patera a serpent she holds in her arms.  

The obverse legend is:
short for: "Autokrator Kaisar Marcus Aurelius Severos Alexandros" or something very similar - as you can see, the letters are more than a little vague given the corrosion, but this is what it seems to be, at least.




4thC Roman radiate sent for ID

The one you have labelled "Radiate" is a 3rd century contemporary copy of the sort some call a "barbarous radiate" - I'm not going to go into the reasons I don't like that term again here, you can check my earlier comments on the subject.  I can't tell who this is supposed to be nor what the reverse type might have been, but Tetricus' more common antoniniani are the most commonly copied subjects of pieces of this class - these date to the end of the so-called Gallic Empire when it was faltering - ie: 265-270 AD.

4thC Roman washed silver coin - sent for ID

the 2nd piece is too crusty for me to get much out of it, although the obverse legend retains a couple of legible letters, I haven't been able to quite place them into an Imperial title for anyone in particular, yet.  I'll get back to you on this.

Given a 2nd look, I believe this might be Postumus - or a contemporary copy of one of his types - the founder of the so-called Gallic Empire.


More Oct finds on a new page

2012 Oct finds 2 page.