After having a couple of months away, I was excited to go do some relic hunting with the Minelab CTX 3030 in Central Victoria.
I chose a heavily mined area where I had found some interesting gold rush relics and early coins before. This was the site of a major alluvial gold rush in the early 1850’s, and which attracted gold seekers from many parts of the world.
I was detecting right beside where I had been before, finding the usual miners buttons, buckles and a few English pennies dating from the early 1800’s. I got a signal that suggested a silver coin. After digging it out I thought “another English sixpence” until close inspection revealed something different than I’d found before.
I always look at the dates, and I was shocked to read 1781 on this one. After some more detecting and a few more finds, I returned home to research the strange coin I’d dug up. I found that its a Spanish 1/2 Reale, Minted in Mexico City and this type was used in the Spanish colonies of South America until 1857. Its not a very rare or valuable coin, particularly in such worn, circulated condition, but I would think its a rare one to be dug up in Australia.
One can only imagine where this coin has been in its long life, and the journeys that it and its owner had while coming to the Australian gold rush.