Hey Everybody. Welcome! To Episode 81 of the Metal Detecting Show Podcast. My Name is Ciaran and I have been Metal Detecting for nearly 30 Years. This week let's talk about how to assign a date and identify your finds because if you don’t know what it is you will never know if your sitting on a once in a life time find.
Before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the episode this week If you want to support the show there are many options available from the links in the episode notes below and if you want to interact with me and the show that information is there too but most importantly If you like this content please don’t hesitate to tell your friends and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.
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Hey Everybody. Welcome! To Episode 81 of the metal detecting show podcast. My Name is Ciaran and I have been Metal Detecting for nearly 30 Years. This week lets talk about how to assign a date and identify your finds because if you don’t know what it is you will never know if your sitting on a once in a life time find.
Hey everyone before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the episode this week If you want to support the show there are many options available from the links in the episode notes below and if you want to interact with me and the show that information is there too.
but most importantly If you like this content please don’t hesitate to tell your friends and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.
Hey everybody How was your week I hope you are still able to get out and the season hasn’t passed you by.
I got out like I said I would I got out thank god I got out!!.
So I hit a favourite spot of mine but what I did for the craic was I set up my equinox with the program I made up on the how to program your detector episode a few weeks ago.
If you remember the episode, this program I made up was to target large silver and for the craic I set up my nox with the exact same program last weekend, firstly I had an idea of the expected finds beforehand so my expectation we set that I would be pulling out high conductivity targets and large Iron and with a bit of luck some silver. Luck wasn’t with me I didn’t catch any silver but I did pull out a lot of high conductivity targets and some large iron.
I went with this program for a solid two hours but switched back to beach 1 on the nox and immediately started to pull out clad coins now that was nice and I wasn’t surprised because I just wasn’t looking for them prior but I have to say it was a highly educational hunt even if I only added a lash of copper to my scrap bucket and added to my tally of clad coins for the year.
So with my type of hunting I suppose I would call it beach relic hunting I tend to find a lot of toasted out coins with very little information on them or if im lucky old jewellery that has proven difficult to age in the past. So over the years I have developed some tactics that can help me identify these finds and this week I want to help you do the same.
If you’re a long time listener you would have hear my dating game episode which was geared towards giving you some high level knowledge on the science behind carbon dating or dating bottles etc this week I want to specifically focus on finds you will find with your metal detector I suppose metal only finds. So ill cover some tips on putting a date to Coins, Bullets and Jewellery Id love to add buckles however buckles are a monster topic that will warrant a whole episode of its own let me know if you would like me to get that one ready for you at some stage.
So let’s start with the most common of desirable finds and that’s Coins.
Luckily all coins come with some form of information inscribed or embossed on them however if your like me and at times you will find a coin with very little information on it but there are other details that can help you identify the coin for example the diameter is it 22mm 26mm etc if you can accurately measure the diameter this will help you narrow down the potential identity of the coin, if im lucky
I suppose I should say that you should have correct literature at your disposal for identifying coins for example I swear by spinks books on coins an interesting thing about spinks books is that they accurately represent the size of the coins in the picture associated with the entry.
so you can literally measure your found coin off the picture which is how I id’d a 1798 farthing previously.
Get yourself a jewellers scales and weight the coin this is more information you can use as each piece of information gathered is narrowing down the possibilities.
I haven’t even got onto the design, Certain design aspects are only included in certain mints of a coin for example there may be stars on one year while another year may have none. These details are important and in one foul swoop can identify your coin if its visible.
Of course A date is a clear identification of a coins identity but if there is a partial date this can help narrow down you results as most coins were not minted every year but many only have been minted every 5 years.
Other details that can help are partials of the obverse or reverse image under a magnifying loop these can be clearly identifiable.
Every piece of information like diameter weight design features and partial information can be a piece of the puzzle to help you so double down on the inspection but if all else fails you can always try the trusty google image search.
Coins are generally easy enough to identify as there will always be some information you can glean however jewellery can be a different story especially if there is no makers stamp or hallmark visible if you have one of these you can quiet easily identify a piece of jewellery if not then the design is super important for example
Jewellery of the Georgian period of the 1700 – 1830 favoured yellow gold with colourful gemstones and elaborate designs.
While the Victorian period of 1830 – 1900 favoured black jewellery with jet onyx or enamel jewellery with cameo carved portraits also popular in the period were replicas of ancient Greek or Egyptian jewellery.
The Edwardian period of 1900 to 1910 favoured white or platinum pieces of lacy or floral designs or bows or leaves.
Moving away from the royal lineage you have art movements that overlapped with these periods such as the Art Nuevo movement of 1880 – 1910 which favoured nature inspired designs that included opel moonstone or amber.
Art Deco from 1915 to 1935 moved toward a ultra-modern ascetic think of the great Gatsby with the sharp corners and shapes and finally you have the
Retro period of 1930 to 1940 which ushered in the era of costume jewellery as manufacturing materials were scares due to the wars efforts across the world resulting in cheaper materials such as plastic coming to the fore during this period.
Again this is an exercise in putting the pieces together to help identify a find. You can test for silver and even diamond now so bringing together information on a piece of jewelery is important however it can never demonstrate the providence of a design unless in the hands of an expert.
Finally lets talk about bullets I have found a fair few of these in my time and im afraid to say unless you happen to find them in a place of a know event at a know time you potentially will never know when it was manufactured. For example musket balls were in use from the 15 century to the mid 1800 with the only variation being the size making them extremely difficult to date unless there is a know battle site nearby adding providence to the find and even then you couldn’t be sure with a musket ball.
In the 1840 the invention of the rifled minie balls came into the fore but these were in operation till the end of world war one where they were banned due to the extreme damage they did on impact but again you cant be sure of the date of a bullet unless there is a battle site located I have a few Minnie balls found locally to me and best I can do to date them is to the operation date of an old military fort in the late 1800s.
In the mid 1800 we get into mass manufacturing of bullet slugs and casing which in the majority of times were manufactured out of brass which lasted a little longer and in good condition and thus are easier to identify by weight or markings on the casing base which usually tell you the caliber and year of manufacturer but again this is a huge topic for you to dig into.
As I said Dating and identifying your find is a huge topic and I am only scratching the surface the best I can do in 10 mins but there is extensive research don’t on each of the topics these week and I suppose you won’t need this information till you suspect you found a minie ball or old silver coin and want to identify it as best you can.
This is what some love most about the hobby and I can’t blame them every time I find something new I learn something new and I’m sure your no different.
That’s it for this week’s I hope you liked this episode of the metal detecting show podcast.
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Once again, I hope you have enjoyed this episode and we will chat to you all again next week.
Get out there eyes down and Happy Hunting.