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Old Time Miners And Their Gold

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Post  monoman1961 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:15 pm

Hi all and interesting topic came up around the camp fire over the weekend old time miners and there gold where would they have stached it not in ther tents or there huts for fear of robbery!!! but in the bush somewhere maybe in an old tree stump.ect ect has any member here found a booty of gold in a jar, a tin, or a leather pouch full of Sovereigns

Thanks

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Post  Wombat on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:45 pm

I was reading some time ago in GG&T mag of a bloke who found coins and gold under an old fire hearth with a detector. Also the old times did not trust banks so they sometimes buried their gold or money near a big tree or a rock out crop, or even near the front gate, some were, were they could see it and keep an eye on it. But at the begining (1850's) they use to put it under their pillow at night and sleep on it. But that did not stop someone robbing them. They use to wait until they went to sleep, specially after a few grogs, and just cut a hole in their tent, put their hand in and feel for the gold. That is when nearly very digger started getting pet dogs as guard dogs.
Answering your original question, No I personally have not found any booty but I do check out likely spots, specially were there might have been an old house

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Post  the speciman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:06 pm

GDAY MONOMAN 1961
i heard of a bloke who got a signal at the bottom of a kurrajong tree out the back of ROEBOURNE (pilbarra)
gold first found in the pilbarra in 1889 or something
anyway when dug up it was a kangaroo ball bag containing 2 x gold soverings a half ounce nugget and a ten dollar note
dollars were introduced in 1966
go figger did he get drunk and forget about it or was there foul play involved??????????
roebourne racecourse was founded in 1867!!!

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Post  Cal on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:18 pm

I think it was in that fantastic book "Nothing but gold" where I read they sometimes hid it in a hole dug in the tent floor (in a spot routinely walked over within the tent to hide the excavation). BTW for those who haven't read the book, it is well worth it - an unsterilised/unromanticised recording of life on the Victorian Goldfields in the early rush years.

A few years back, while digging a target on an old heap, half way down to the target up came the remains of an old calico pouch in the soil pile; with the target still in the hole, my imagination went wild with the thought of a possible once contained treasure waiting for me with further digging bounce , then when a half ounce piece came out, it went into overdrive with anticpation of more targets still in the hole, but alas with a further wave of the wand no more signal. I often wonder whether the half ouncer had once been placed in the pouch by its owner, and if so what was the old timers emotion when he first found the nugget. That's the closest I'v come to 'finding a stash'.

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:45 pm

i know a person around my home found an old jar with half an ounce in it. i would say an old digger had forgot where he put it or he passed and didn't tell anyone.

another was, i was talking to a hubby and wife they are the most beautiful people, they travel around australia fishing shooting and detecting. anyway they brought the very 1st detectors when they came out and headed up to a friends block. when they set up they headed out to the bush in there old truck, the track they were on just stopped, they hopped out with there detectors and started to walk. they didn't walk far befor they found a camp site, they looked around and found an old masket gun againsed a tree, the but off the gun was burnt. there was a few old logs that must have been used for seats around the fire. they said that it looked like they just got up and walked off (the hubby said he wished he got a photo off it). they started detecting the old site not knowing much about how to use these detectors but they found old cups, jars and old tins full off gold... i would say that someone raided them and they knew it was going to happen so they stashed the gold and didn't make it...

i did love talking to these 2 they had some realy great storys i could off sat there all day it was great...
cheers
stoppsy

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:42 pm

Books like Gympie Gold gives accounts of what the alluvial miners and reefers did with there gold. They used to bury it under there tents and if they went out to the grog shanty one would stay behind and guard it, as well as the claim from jumpers. The reefers would keep it down below in the shaft with one staying to watch.

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Post  harryopal on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:02 pm

Good evening all,

I have an interest in old Roman coins (little knowledge but quite a bit of interest.). During the hundreds of years of the Roman empire and other earlier times when wars were rather commonplace often soldiers would bury their precious possessions before going off to battle with the notion that they would dig it up when they returned.... and often they might not... return. And similary with residents under attack. Every now and then in the UK and other parts of Europe people with detectors come across jars filled with coins. I can think of two such instances in recent years in the UK. One fellow was digging a fish pond in his back yard and found a jar with 20,000 Roman coins. Too bad the Romans didn't make it to Australia.

Happy detecting. Yours tropically, Harry


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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:20 pm

Sorry but that must have been one big jar? or really small coins!

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:51 pm

Hey mate you are 100 percent right about the romans, I was reading a story where a treasure seeker using a metal detector was out in a field in England and he got a signal dug down to find a huge clay pot full of old roman coins. The coins were valued at 2.5 million euros and he split it 50/50 with the property owner and this was only last year so its worth while searching for that sort of thing over there.

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Post  TheH0ward on Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:25 am

Someday, yes roman coins are small. The ones i have are somewhere between the sizes of a 1 cent piece and a 2 cent piece. And i have also read numerous accounts of hundreds of coins being dug up and worth quite a lot of money (usually the silver or the gold coins though, the bronze coins seem to be cheap to buy).

I often find myself detecting areas where there are obvious signs of 'an old settlement' in the gold fields and i get a bit over eager detecting wierd places hoping to find someones burried gold, lol. hey who knows, maybe one day! Smile
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Post  harryopal on Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:57 am

Good morning all,
Here's a couple of such reports. Yours tropically, Harry
Hoard of 10,000 Roman Coins found in Shropshire
Submitted by Ann on Wed, 09/09/2009 - 19:52

Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer from the Portable Antiquities Scheme with the Roman Coin Hoard discovered at Shrewsbury. - Photo portableantiquitiesA massive haul of more than 10,000 Roman coins crammed inside a buried clay pot has been unearthed by an amateur metal detecting enthusiast - on his first ever treasure hunt, and this only a few days after it was announced the Vale of York Hoard was purchased by the British Museum. The silver and bronze 'nummi' coins, dating from between 240 AD and 320 AD, were discovered in a farmer's field near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, last month. Experts say the coins have spent an estimated 1,700 years underground. The stunning collection of coins, most of which were found inside the broken brown pot, was uncovered by Nick Davies during a search of land in the Shrewsbury area - just a month after he took up the hobby of metal detecting. This amazing find is one of the largest collections of Roman coins ever discovered in Shropshire, and the biggest collection of Roman coins to be found in Britain this year.

From a brief look at the hoard there seems to be a minimum of 10,000 coins, of which the majority are corroded together in the pot. Nick did not touch the coins from within the pot and this will mean that staff at the British Museum will be able to excavate the coins carefully. This will enable them to know whether the coins were placed in the pot all at the same time, or were added to piecemeal over time. All coins found are bronze (copper alloy), and some of them have been silver washed. They are known as nummi (which just means coin) and were common during the 4th century AD. From the coins which have been provisionally identified they seem to date from the period 320 – 340 AD, late in the reign of Constantine I and the House of Constantine. Amongst the coins are issues celebrating the anniversary of the founding of Rome and Constantinople. In total the coins and the pot weigh in excess of 70 lbs. The pottery vessel is very large and probably used in the domestic part of a farmhouse as a large storage jar. It does not seem to be locally made. It is very fine being extraordinarily thin.

A small excavation was undertaken with the hope of understanding how the coins were placed in the ground. This was a success and it seems most likely that the pot was buried in the ground probably part full and was subsequently topped up before a large stone was placed on top acting as a marker. The top of the pot had been broken in the ground and a large number of the coins spread in the area. All of these were recovered during the excavation with the help of a metal detector. This added at least another 300 coins to the total. We now know that there are no more coins (or another hoard) in the area.


The coins date to the reign of Constantine I when Britain was being used to produce food for the Roman Empire. It is possible these coins were paid to a farmer who buried them and used them as a kind of piggy-bank.
The coins within the hoard represent some of the most commonly found coins from Roman Britain; most metal detectorists will have one or two in their collection. The importance of this find is the sheer number, or material wealth they represent. It is likely that the hoard represents a person or communities wealth, possibly as a payment for a harvest. Why it was not collected by the owner is a mystery – but one that we can share and enjoy 1700 years after the fact.

Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said: "The coins date to the reign of Constantine I when Britain was being used to produce food for the Roman Empire. It is possible these coins were paid to a farmer who buried them and used them as a kind of piggy-bank."

Mr Reavill declined to put a figure on either the value of the coins or the pot until the findings of the inquest are known, but he described the discovery as a 'large and important' find and that the exact location of the find could not be revealed for security reasons.

The coins have now been sent to the British Museum for detailed examination, before a report is sent to the coroner. Experts are expected to spend several months cleaning and separating the coins, which have fused together. They will also give them further identification before sending them to the coroner so they can be valued by a Government panel. The haul could then be put on display at Shrewsbury's new £10million heritage centre.

The Vale of York Hoard - a massive Viking hoard also found by metal detecting hobbyists - will be on display at the Yorkshire Museum in York from September 17 to November 1 before moving to the British Museum.
========================================
Hoard of 52,500 Roman Coins Discovered Near Frome by Metal Detectorist
Submitted by bija on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 13:13

Archaeologist Alan Graham excavating the site. Photo by Somerset County Council.
A metal-detector enthusiast has found one of the biggest ever hoards of Roman coins. It is the biggest hoard ever found in a single vessel in Britain, numbering 52,500 Roman coins of varying denominations.

The finder was Dave Crisp, who was out with his metal detector in a field near Frome, in Somerset, when his machine alerted him to what turned out to be an earthenware pot full of coins from the third century AD.

The coins were contained in a large earthenware jar and altogether weighed 160kg. It is estimated that they would have been worth the equivalent of four years' pay for a Roman legionary soldier.

According to Anna Booth, Somerset finds liaison officer, the find was initially made towards the end of May and since then the site has been excavated and the British Museum has begun the conservation process. A total number for the coins was only reached last week.

Responsible Detecting
The team of heritage experts who have been involved in the site's excavation have nothing but praise for the finder of the hoard.


A large group of coins (766) show Britain's usurper emperor Carausius. Photoby Somerset County Council.
Anna Booth said: “The discovery at Frome stands out as a story, mainly because Dave Crisp reported it immediately to his local coroner.

"This meant we got to excavate the site in its original, undisturbed state. Mr Crisp took part in this process with us, even going to the extent of camping there one night with his grandson, to make sure that the site was safe over night.”

The coins were discovered inside a ceramic pot, about 50cm in diameter, made of black burnished ware.

It would have been placed in the ground towards the end of the third century AD.

Anna Booth described it as a 'coarse, average type of vessel'. She added that although the pot was intact in the ground, it had been cracked, making it easier to get the coins out.

“The pot was enormous, there is no way that anyone could have carried it, which we think makes it unlikely that the money was hidden by someone who intended to return to it. The pot has been carefully placed in the ground using packing material such as reeds and grass, so we think it could be a ritual offering.”

Video: Excavation of the Frome Hoard
This time-lapse video created by Anna Booth shows the layer-by-layer removal of the Roman coins.


The story of the excavation will also be featured in a new BBC Two archaeology series, Digging for Britain, presented by Dr Alice Roberts, to be broadcast in August.
Treasure Trove
Somerset's coroner will hold an inquest on 22 July to rule on whether the find is be classed as treasure or not. Under the 1996 Treasure Act (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland), objects that might be considered treasure or are more than 300 years old must be reported to the local coroner within 14 days of discovery.

In the case of coins, if there are more than 10 coins from the same hoard with a silver or gold content of at least 10 per cent, then it is classed as 'treasure' and must be offered for sale to a museum (the British Museum has first refusal) at a value determined by the Treasury Valuation Committee.

If the hoard is declared to be treasure, and it seems certain it will, then Somerset County Museum Service has declared its interest in buying it and a reward would be shared between the finder, Dave Crisp, and the owner of the field.

How Much are They Worth?
Anna Booth said: “I can't comment on the value of the coins, partly because I don't know and also because there are just too many variables. It will depend on how many rare coins there are and the condition they're in.”

The hoard will eventually go on display at Taunton Museum, which is undergoing refurbishment and will be reopened in spring 2011. The coins will be displayed there when the conservation process has been completed.


Dave Crisp found the hoard while using hismetal detector in a field near Frome. Photo by Salisbury & SouthWiltshire Museum.Other large hoards of Roman coins have been found at Cunetio in Wiltshire, where 54,951 coins dating from 270-274 AD were discovered in 1978, while 47,909 radials were discovered at Normanby in Lincolnshire in the 1980s. More recent, 10,000 Roman coins were found in Shropshire.

Third Century Economic Crisis
Whatever the value of the coins on today's antiquities market, they are of great historical interest and include coins minted by 21 emperors as well as three emperors' wives.

Some of the emperors are Gallienus, Diocletian and Maximian, while some of the rarer coins feature a notorious British emperor.

In fact 766 of them feature Carausius, the usurper emperor who ruled Britain and part of northern Gaul independently from the Roman empire during 286-293 AD. Coins of Carausius are rarely found in hoards.

Carausius struck his own coins and reinstated an old denomination, the silver denarius. There are as many as 10 of these coins in the hoard.

The second half of the third century was a time of trouble for Britain, with Carausius's play for power causing political instability. It was also the tail-end of the third century crisis, during which the empire was hit by disease, unrest and economic depression.

It is possible that this large amount of coins were actually deflated in value at that time and this could explain why such a large number of them were buried in this way.



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Post  harryopal on Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:05 am

And this one I especially like:
Harry
Man finds 20,000 Roman coins while digging pond

By Danielle Demetriou


Friday, 12 March 2004

One of the most significant collections of Roman coins to be found in Britain in recent years has been unearthed by a man digging a fishpond.

Ken Allen was 20 feet from his back door in Bristol when he found a ceramic urn, complete with lid, containing 15,000 to 20,000 bronze coins. It was four feet below the surface.

Archaeologists said yesterday that the haul was one of the largest collections of fourth-century Roman coins found in the south-west of England. Gail Boyle, of the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, said the coins dated back to the Emperor Constantine the Great (AD307-337). "It's surprising for the area as it's modern housing," she said.

Mr Allen, 47, a sales manager who has lived at the property for 15 years, said: "My old garden pond was inches away from the spot and I have planted trees in this area, so I was surprised that I hadn't discovered it before now."

If the find is classed as treasure Mr Allen may be entitled to a reward equal to the market value of the coins.


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Post  Tributer on Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:45 am

I know that many miners liked to carry their money on them. You find heaps of coins and bottons in VIC and NSW because they worked in mud and the cotton just rotted and they lost their coins.

I reckon they slept with their gold and during the day kept it on them unless they were working close to their tent, and then it would have been buried under the tent. I guess if a group was working in the one spot they would keep the gold container on site as they worked each day. I could see them spending time discussing how much they would trade for needed food and grog once a week or so.

Any metal or porcelan container with a secure stopper or screw lid that could hold gold was a valuable commodity i reckon. They would store gold in bullet casings slotted together or crimped over on the end. I have seen a brass powder horn gold holder modified so it could be opened more at the top and locked backed with a clip.

And then there is always a few that may bury their gold next to a tree or such, however the risk of someone seeing you and the paranoia of wondering if your gold was still there would deter me from that stategy. Although there must be a few good hordes out there waiting to be found.

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