Treasure Finds and Stories
1884 Gold Coin Worth ~$2,000!
I first got into the hobby of metal detecting when I was a little boy on vacation with my family. I saw a detector for sale in a shop window, it was 1975, and all it did was flash a red light when metal was nearby. I begged my parents to buy it for me and my father arranged to pay for three quarters of the price. Unfortunately, it didnt work for long and I ended up breaking it apart and making something else out of it. My parents never forgot it - but then again, neither did I.
Decades later I heard there were gold fields in between where I live and the beaches of Sydney, Australia. Its a four hour drive across the mountains from Sydneys sprawling suburbs to a country town of under 200 people called Sofala. This is where Australias first gold strike was officially recorded and Ive made several trips there to photograph the area, search for gold with my wife and document my experiences.
I was searching for gold with my wife and my Minelab X-Terra at the entrance of a hand dug gold mine from the early gold rush days in the town of Portland. Its hidden in an inaccessible and otherwise lonely region, but Ive done a significant amount of research and had gotten directions from helpful locals. It was complete bush-land around me; full of kangaroos, large ants and scorpions.
The ground conditions were horrible. It took me two hours to get to the base of the valley and three more to get out again. The soil was populated with large, poisonous ants and scorpions and the clay was so dense that only my pick axe could penetrate the ground. Finally, after having been out since sun rise, I got a signal. About 9 into the outside wall of the gold mines entrance I started digging. . .
Digging through hard clay with badly blistered and bandaged hands and a pick axe, I was almost ready to give up when out popped the only gold coin ever produced in Australia a beautiful, rare, 1884 gold sovereign in VF or XF condition. With a young (cute) Queen Victoria on one side and St. George slaying a dragon on the other, this coin has almost no wear and a few tiny spots have the original luster on the gold. The delicate rim is actually fairly good as well. In this condition and to the right collector, this coin is worth about $2,000.00.
While Ive only taken my X-Terra out for two trips (a total of 7 days) Ive also found quite a few little gold nuggets thanks to my Elliptical high frequency DD search coil for nugget hunting. And although the cost of fuel and travel usually outweighs what we find, my wife and I are young, and I really have developed a passion for detecting so in between hunts I pour over maps, journals and books to do the best research possible.- Marco N., Baulkham Hills