t was a Monday, mid December in 2009 and I had taken the opportunity to reserve a day for some metal detecting before the real winter arrived. However, the day I had chosen was not the warmest of days (hardly surprising though as it was December) but I had survived many weeks without detecting and it was only going to be rain that kept me indoors, not the cold.
I drove my wife to work, dropping her off at 8am and then continued to the farm where I had been granted search rights some months before. I had only been searching since the autumn and due to the distance from where I live to the farm it was not easy to just pop over to the farm for an hour or so. It was a day out or not at all. I suppose I used to be towards the farmville farm 3 x previously and aside from any Bill III sixpence which in fact had already been my personal only locate on a lovely evening during the earlier autumn, I’d not really found an excessive amount of to create regarding. Amongst my previous finds there were numerous buttons and some old artefacts (some not yet identified). Although I had spent six to seven hours each day on those previous days, the real enjoyment of the days had been the lovely weather and the time spent chatting to the son of the farmer who would always kindly drive me down to the field I wanted to search in the trusty old diesel Land Rover Defender. This was real service which I was most grateful for and it saved me risking damaging my wife’s car in the deep ruts leading down to the fields. It also saved me a lot of time in walking backwards and forwards from the fields to the farmhouse where I left the car.
On this particular day in December however it was suggested that I try a field closer to the farmhouse just in case the weather turned nasty. I could then pop in for a cup of tea and chat about finding hoards of Roman coins, hammered coins amongst other exciting things. The weather forecast was supposed to be cloudy and dry all day, but with a temperature of less than 5 degrees and a lot of low cloud around I was not too sure that the day was going to stay dry. On arrival at the farm I was met by the farmer’s son who asked me in and we had a brief chat. I handed him a small Christmas present and card, not just a Christmas present but also a token of my appreciation for him allowing me to detect the farmland. He was eager to show me a cartwheel coin that his grandmother had found many years ago and he had treasured it ever since. I had to admit that I had never seen a cartwheel coin close up apart from pictures in books and magazines and I was more than shocked at the size of it.
After the brief chat and patting the lovely, friendly family dogs, we both discussed which field would be best to search. I agreed that a field close to the farm would be wise just in case of rain. The field was selected and we both made off on foot as it was less than five minutes away. Evidently search engine optimization experienced in no way already been looked plus it had been not far from the little village, so it could be interesting I thought. I wished that this had been the field where the farmer himself had found a Roman coin on the surface some years back, but it wasn’t because that field had been freshly ploughed and sown, so was out of bounds to me for the time being. After the short walk we reached the field and I took a look around as if to give the impression that I knew where the best part of the field would be. Having decided that it all looked good, I said that I may search the footpath that ran down one side of the field or even the bridle path that ran down the other side. I knew the day would be a shorter day than usual, mainly because I had to be back at my wife’s company to collect her and we had set a time of 4:30 pm. This would mean leaving at 3:15pm at the latest. Anyway, I climbed over the gate to the huge field and the farmer’s son said he would stay for a while and watch. Although he had his own detector back at the farmhouse, it was really old and not too capable so he preferred to accompany me, hoping to witness one of those rare moments where I find something special.
As it was really cold and the ground was very wet, I guessed he would not stay too long. It is really only fun if you are detecting and digging yourself, even if the weather was good. I turned my faithful friend on, a Minelab SE Explorer which I had bought back in 2008 from Joan Allen in Biggin Hill, Kent. I put my headphones on, adjusted them and made sure the sound was OK.The setting of the detector itself was as always and I did not need to change anything for this type of terrain. I started detecting immediately inside the field quite close to the gate, but not too close to pick up the signal of the metal gate! After several sweeps I had already had some good signals, nothing too exciting though. I guess I tend to sweep slowly and thoroughly, hoping not to miss anything but I would rather spend more time detecting than rushing and missing something special. I had only been detecting for five or ten minutes and I had a very good, sharp signal (the signals vary in tone depending on the object below the ground) which led me to believe it could be something special. I dug into the ground which was like butter to cut with my small spade. The spade is of extremely high quality and very strong, at the same time being fairly light. There was no requirement for the fork during this period – I bring the hand in the event the bottom is very stony and also difficult. This was not going to be one of those days. I guess I had only dug down 6 inches or so and there was nothing visible that could have given such an exciting signal. At that moment I noticed something catch the blade of the spade and sure enough there was a coin or something the shape of a coin there. We retrieved the actual said item carefully from your floor and wiped off the clay-based and also off-road. I am not sure who was more excited, the farmer’s son or I because I knew immediately that this was not a modern coin and it was going to be something special.