I hadn’t had the relic detector out for about two months so I was fairly keen on a couple of days out the bush with the Minelab CTX 3030, hoping to find another coin or two.
I had chosen a spot which I, and many other detectorists over the years had found many old items from the original miners, as well as some gold nuggets. I was prepared for targets to be scarce and few in this location but i was in the right mood and felt that it was worth putting in the hours for possibly nothing. I obviously had a little faith that this “thoroughly detected” location still had a treasure or two left if i put enough time in!
After perhaps 6 full hours of detecting with only a small handfull of missed “junk” targets I was becoming increasingly discouraged by my choice of detecting sites, with my mind telling me I’ve wasted my time. In this state of mind, my detecting technique often becomes sloppy and deteriorates as the day progresses. It was while in this mood that i casually swang the coil over a very brief and vague target and it didnt sound to me like the detector was very sure about it.
I almost ignored it, but for some reason I stopped and slowly investigated it. Still being unsure if it was even a non-ferrous target, I scraped back the compost surface probably 3-4 inches and retried the signal. Getting the coil those few inches closer to the target now convinced me it was a definite non-ferrous target, and being a 12:21 ID, I briefly assumed another button was down there, as some other brass buttons that day were the same or very similar ID.
I was surprised how deep I had to go down for a button (about 7 inches), but when I finally had the target out, I kneeled down to locate it with the PRO-FIND 25 probe, but I didnt need it, as i saw the unmistakable glint of gold in the sun, sitting on the pile of dirt in the shape of a coin!
Before I picked it up, I already knew it was a half sovereign ! I spent a few minutes with my water bottle carefully washing it avoiding any touching or rubbing to see what date was on it.
I was delighted to see the words “Sydney Mint” come up, and 1856 on the other side. After that excitement had subsided a bit, I remember telling myself , “it was worth the patience and perseverence after all”.
I still have faith in all these so called “flogged areas” if I have the patience, and it sure pays to check every little signal, regardless of how “iffy” it sounds.
To learn more about the 1856 Half Sovereign visit Museum Victoria