On the day, Stan arrived with his detecting kit and ran me through the basics before he let me loose. I'll be honest, I have never given metal detectors much thought before and had no idea just how accurate and sensitive these things were.
They can not only tell you whether what's in the ground is most likely rubbish or valuable but they also sound a differing tone for more precious metals and a whole host of other indicators to put you in touch with what lies beneath.
So after about 40mins of scratching around a large pile of dirt that had been excavated from around the house, I decided that I'd have a look around the footings on the North side of the house. Within 30 seconds the machine starting beeping furiously. Not the dull tones associated with scrap steel or rubbish but a higher pitched beep. A scratch with a small mattock and a single coin rolled out of the dirt.
Last year I found an 1876 One Penny piece about 2 metres away inside the building and my first thoughts were that it was another penny. But when I picked it up, it was nothing that I recognised. Got to love Google. So when I entered '1 Sen piece' into the search engine, I quickly found out that I had an 1873 Japanese coin in my hand.
Yes, I know it's not gold, but it was a pretty damn good find in my books. Question is how did it get there? I knew that there was a large Chinese population in Victoria during the gold rush, but I've not heard much about Japanese being in the area at that time. Question is, was it dropped there over a hundred years ago or was it more likely that it was a WWII souvenir, bought back by a returned serviceman? I guess I'll never know.
Amongst the other 'stuff' we turned up that morning before the heat beat us, the oil cover off a stationary engine, the tire valve cover off a vintage car, a toy tractor, three old axe heads that had been used as wedges and a couple of horse shoes. No Welcome Stranger nuggets, but the Japanese coin was gold to me. Thanks Stan.