Archive | March, 2017

3x Silver with Deus v4!

29 Mar

Yesterday I had the whole day to hunt my permissions near Oxfordshire. In light of my upcoming return to the States, I really wanted to make the most of it. It was also my first hunt with version 4, the newly updated Deus firmware. I found it to be a silver magnet, quickly netting me a cut half (silver penny cut, for example, to make change) of Edward the Confessor, the Saxon king who ruled England until the coming of William the Conqueror in 1066.

An hour later my Deus sang out with a signal in the high 90s. Usually this means aluminum can “slaw”, so I was shocked after digging and digging to find this massive hammered coin at almost 8 inches down. It is an Elizabethan silver shilling (ca. 1582-84), and by far the largest “hammy” I have ever found.

I was tired by this time, but so excited by the finds that I pressed on. Last of all I found a milled silver shilling of George V (1923) (bottom row, far L).


In addition I found a penny of Victoria (1887) with a lovely patina; one from her son, Edward VII (1902); three coins so knackered that they had no images — probably Georgian, as they take the worst beating in English soils; a pre-decimal six pence; a modern clad 20p; and a Euro 50 cent piece that gave me heart palpitations with its golden glint when my spade turned the soil. All in all an excellent hunt. I find that I am really liking the standard XY display screen with the factory Deep program on v4.

Barren Battersea

26 Mar

I went for a lark beneath the Albert Bridge at Battersea on Sunday. Pickings were slim, and I only found a U.S. quarter (Louisiana) from 2oo2 and a 2p piece. I also saw a heron which became the occasion for ‘flocks’ of  avian puns with my brother and sister-in-law: ‘I’ve been “heron” lots about this new fishing hole’, and ‘I seagull(ible) people like you all of the time’. I should have spared you, gentle reader.

Deus Redux

18 Mar

I used my 9″ coil as a trade-in at Leisure Promotions against a new 11″ coil and remote, so that I would have a full Deus again in advance of the v4 release and new HF coils. When it arrived, I arranged to visit my main permission to test it out. Unfortunately the unit does not come pre-charged, so I just had time for a quick 20 minute hunt as night was coming on. I did get to spend time with my friend the farmer watching Six Nations rugby (France beat Wales with a last-minute try) while the coil charged.

I decided to search near the farmhouse (17th cent.) this time round, and I quickly found a George VI penny from 1938 — I love the green patina they get! Next I found a modern coin spill: 2 pound coin (not too shabby – pays for the bus fare at least!) a 10p and a penny. The oldest coin in the spill was 2001, and all the coins were at about 9 inches under lawn, so they might have been lost in 2001 or slightly thereafter. I also found a flat button.

At the corner of the farmhouse I found this sterling silver bracelet, which the farmer said did not belong to his family.


I look forward to trying the Deus version 4 update on Tuesday. I’ll keep you posted!

Treasure Inquest

11 Mar

The form is crumpled, because it was savaged in my backpack, but the Crown Coroner has reached out to me regarding a treasure inquest for a tiny bit of foreshore gold foil. FLO Anni Byard contacted me about the tiny bit of gold (below), which was turned up by Steve Brooker during my mudlarking taster session. Anni believes it’s part of a more elaborate array that has turned up in pieces on the foreshore.

Forrest Fenn Update III

10 Mar

A recent Vox doc-essay on the hunt for Forrest Fenn:


‘Mudlarking for Beginners’: My Article in The Searcher

9 Mar


Blues, Boxing, and a Return to the Thames

9 Mar

14 August 2016

On this sunny autumnal Sunday I attended one of the few club digs I have been able to make it to this year, what with commuting between Poland and the UK and an unreliable Rover 25 (since sold for scrap). The dig was near Brookhampton in Oxfordshire, and even with my truncated Deus lite (no remote and only the 9″ coil) I managed to turn up a lace chape, a Roman fragment, and a hammy with its image worn smooth. I also turned up what might me an ancient fastener or toggle, though I lack the skill to date such things.

Boxing Day, 26 December 2016

I spent a warm English country Christmas with my dear friend Gabriel and his family. I could not have been more warmly hosted or better fed. On Boxing Day, Gabriel and I went for a walk and a brief detecting session along the Roman Alley uplands of my permission. Gabriel has been detecting with me a number of times, as faithful readers (you nonexistent folks) will know, but we had yet to find a properly ancient coin. Our luck changed on the Boxing Day ramble.



We found a decorated bit of what might be bronze or copper alloy, which looked for all the world like part of a torc. It has yet to be identified, but there is also a chance that it is a bit of farm detritus from sometime in the last two millennia. I found a stolid lead weight, and then we got another solid signal, digging together and using the pinpointer to reveal Gabriel’s first Roman, a grotty nummus. He took it home and submerged it in olive oil to see about removing some of the accretion.

Gabriel’s Roman


March 4, 2017

I met Ian S____, the Chairman of the Society of Thames Mudlarks, digging his usual great holes near Queenshithe. He and his mate had had a nice Krauwinkel jetton, coming out of the mud looking like burnished gold — nothing else that they would admit to. I showed him the grotty Roman nummus that I had just beyond Millennium Bridge, eyes-only on the north side, and he seemed sceptical. ‘We haven’t had much Roman around here’, he said, and I remembered when I’d been with Steve Brooker and a young mudlark had shown us a rose farthing that he’d professed to have found that day — Steve admired it, but once we’d moved on, he told me that he was sure the guy had kept it in his wallet to show off and not found it that day at all. I got the same sense of scepticism from Ian, and when I enquired again about the Society, he told me the rolls were full and mentioned that the most recently elected member had made a famous find of gun carriages buried in the river mud, as if to emphasise the grandiosity requisite for election by comparison with my own modest discovery.


As the tide flowed and rose, I crossed the river to search beneath the Globe, as the Southwark side is here the last obscured by water. Scraping up near the retaining wall, I found a hammered bronze coin with three fleur-de-lis on the reverse and a laureled head on the front.

It seemed early modern, but I thought perhaps Napoleonic, given the bust. An amateur numismatist in my Twitter feed later ID’ed it as a double tournois of Louis XIII, so early 17th century. The other finds of the day included some modern clad and the decorated handle of a pewter spoon, also found on the north bank.