Grant Maxwell, Administrator on the Detecting Scotland forum was just a little anxious when the farmer whose land on which they had held a dig just the day before, gave him a call. Was it going to be a complaint?
Not at all. The reason for his call came as a result of talking to his elderly mother and she told him that she’d lost her engagement ring ‘some decades earlier’, possibly when she was hanging out the washing.
Grant informed the farmer that no gold rings had been found, but he’d happily come and have ‘a scout around’ the area (now a chicken pen) to see if he could find it!
After a couple of hours, lots of early decimal coins and not much else in the pouch, Grant got a ‘slightly off’ signal, but dug it anyway. He pulled out a plug and there, about 10” down, nestled the first gold ring he had ever found. He said, “It was a thing of beauty, gold with three sparkling diamonds set in platinum! I literally fell to my knees with happiness.”
In March this year I posted a blog entitled Ring of Truth. I advised caution when returning rings to losers or their relatives, and related one particular story when it definitely wasn’t welcomed. That wasn’t the norm of course; lost items are usually well received when reunited with their original owners or descendants.
Also it is good for the finder, as he is doing the magnanimous thing! In most cases those who receive the find, whether it be a current or one of their ancestor’s losses it is appreciated. I believe also it has to be good for the hobby (sport?) and sometimes even offers the opportunity to gain more land. This find by detectorist Rob L is rather different.
Rob is an American and collects Civil War and WW items of a personal nature. Some are dug up and others are what he buys, but before he adds them to his collection he always tries to contact a family member to see if they’d like them returned … after all, they are the rightful custodians.
Rob has found and returned a variety of things over the years, including rings, dog tags and keys; almost all of them were happy reunions. His favourite of all times was a World War I harmonica he had purchased from an antique dealer that was roughly ‘personalised’ with a name and other details.
The scribbling on the lower picture is hard to see, but Rob deciphered it as C G Howe 1st xx xxxxxx Inf and placed it on a detecting forum asking for help. Mainly due to one of th emembers he ascertained that it read C.G. Howe 1st Lt. 55th Pioneer Infantry.
When we see the word ‘potpourri’ most of us think of a mixture of things like dried flowers and leaves kept in a bowl to make a room smell pleasant. You may have some in the lavvy right now! This packet from M&S contains cinnamon and cloves. Sounds almost good enough to eat!
The wordwas borrowed directly from the French ‘pot pourri’, and in that language the literal meaning of these words is “putrid or rotten pot.”
Long ago when the Editor and I were thinking of a header for my new column inThe Searcher magazine, potpourri was a title considered. Why? It means, ‘a miscellaneous collection of almost anything’, and I intended writing short bits about metal detecting and presenting them as a whole. We considered many titles and eventually chose MEDLEY, easier to understand and meaning a varied mixture of stories.
After that pitiful and convoluted introduction this blog goes back to the French meaning of potpourri, ‘putrid or rotten pot’. I don’t know why, perhaps it is because I have taken and adapted some of those earlier stories – because I can. Now that is rotten (lazy?). And so is this silly introduction.
Let’s start with those detectorists who are renowned for blindly rushing into purchasing new equipment, because FaceAche and forum guys with pseudonyms like DeusDave,PullTabFinderandDigitUp recommended it! They haven’t thought ahead and ‘disappointment’ is probably a new word in their vocabulary. Like all gullible punters who haven’t done their homework, the result is predictable.
They were lured by the attraction of, say, a new machine at a higher cost, and then disenchanted because it failed to deliver the goods. What did they expect? For them it proves a tough learning curve, when they find out [usually] that sticking with the same detector, getting to know its little foibles and fully understanding how it works, will eventually bring dividends.
This subject is a favourite of Texas blogger Dick Stout and one in which he excels. Read his latest blog HERE (20th March).
DeusDave,PullTabFinderandDigitUp are figments of my imagination and bear no relationship to anyone I know.
A chunk of unidentified lead hidden in a tin for almost 20 years turned out to be a very interesting find for a Kent detectorist. He found the item in a small orchard in the mid 1990’s, long before the internet with detecting forums and Faceache made identification of items easy. Books on Roman coins were researched at the time but nothing could be found relating to the find.
After registering the find (somewhat late!) with the FLO, the old piece of lead was taken to London to be viewed by Dr. Sam Moorhead, National Finds Adviser, Ancient Coins at the British Museum. He recorded it as a “find of note” and was designated for inclusion in the British Numismatic Journal, ‘Coin Register.’
The detectorist was surprised when his ‘piece of lead’ was a possible trial piece of the reverse die of a silver medallion of Valens (AD 364-78). How it came to be in a small field in Kent is a mystery, as the mintmark is from Trier, in Germany.