Hands full of hammereds

Hands full of hammereds

Our Hibernian Hoard

It was late October and I was out searching some pastureland near the Northern Irish coastline with my Nokta Makro Anfibio, accompanied by my good friend Michael Gwynne. We had been asked by the landowner to search the area in the hunt for a lost wedding ring. We had given the suspected location a thorough search but met with no success, apart from finding quite a few horseshoes and bits of junk. As it was getting late in the afternoon we finally decided to call it a day, however, as we headed back I received a really good signal which was registering at 72. Despite thinking it was almost certainly another horseshoe, I began to dig it. When I was down only a few inches I decided to use my pinpointer to try and get a bearing on the target location. Moving the soft soil to one side I then spotted the glint of silver, which turned out to be three hammered coins! I was really excited as, having extracted the coins, the pinpointer indicated that there was still a target in the ground. I just knew this signal originated from yet more coins and that I had finally found a hoard.

Lots More Coins

Removing some more soil I could then clearly see lots more coins, some stacked on their sides, others lying flat. It was absolutely amazing and I was nearly crying with emotion at seeing them all, and yes, I did do a celebratory type of dance, in fact I’m still doing one! The last coins were removed from a depth of around 18 inches and an onsite count revealed that the hoard total was 84, consisting mainly of sixpences, shillings and a few halfcrowns. Some examples of the shillings exhibited clear evidence of having been clipped and many were in superb condition. A brief examination showed that amongst these were some rare issues of Edward VI and Charles I. One unusual aspect to the hoard was the presence of a very large coin which we believe to be a Bavarian thaler. All of the coins are currently in the possession of the Ulster Museum where they will be examined and catalogued. As soon as we have more details we will provide readers of Treasure Hunting magazine with an update.

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