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Silver and Gold

By: Anonymous

I think many of us mad treasure hunters have a “Hit List” of places we know of and dream about, but often can’t or don’t make it because it’s not convenient.

There is one such place I know of and have been yearning to try. The area has a rich gold mining history which dates back to the 1860’s. It’s a long distance from where I live and then a boat ride across a lake.


My partner and I decided to do a short trip there fishing and swimming, so of course I seized the opportunity to throw the trusty E-TRAC in.

We took a break from fishing around mid-afternoon and had a late lunch on a beach where a Ferry used to deliver diggers to the goldfields. My imagination tends to run a little wild at times but I could imagine a slatted jetty, money being exchanged for goods and services all over top of the water. What a perfect scenario for losing valuables.

The weather was starting to close in on us so I knew I only had an hour or so of hunting. The lake levels were high but it was refreshingly warm to wade in. I was grid searching the beach both in and out of the water.

There were no shortage of interesting targets. Tempting fate, I was detecting with the control box just above the water. Every time I got a signal, I had to dig half submerged while my partner held the detector safely up and out of the water.

It was about then that I got a solid 12 21 signal. In my experience that often indicates aluminum pull tops, but not always… The recovery was slow and clumsy in the brackish waist deep water. I knew I had moved my target but couldn’t pinpoint it. I cupped my hands, and one by one grabbed hands full of lake sediment, waving them in front of the coil.

On about the 6th one that I was lifting from the water, the gravel rolled back to reveal what many consider (including myself) to be the “Holy Grail” of metal detecting. Now free from its watery tomb was a stunning 1857 Sydney Mint Gold half sovereign in near perfect condition!

How to turn a grown man back into a boy in an instant. There is no drug in the world that could replace that feeling and I think my partner must have assumed I was having a stroke as she was wondering what had just happened to me.

Further searching of the area revealed an English 1835 silver Shilling (my oldest coin to date) and some early New Zealand coinage. There is definitely unfinished business there and I will be back.