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The Tale of the Tin Hoard

By: Anonymous

Out detecting in the W.A. Goldfields with my GPX 5000 I got a strong signal, My expectation was high, It just had to be Gold.

We were detecting in an area of no rubbish and had already found a few nice chunks in this spot, I had found a 160 grammer & Ali, my wife had a 106 grammer to her name and this signal was way stronger.


I cleared the ground with my pick and re-checked for the signal, It boomed in. My pulse quickened and I could feel I was grinning like a Cheshire cat, "You beauty" I said. Took a few inches of dirt off and the signal was still in the ground, another dig of a couple of inches and the signal was still there, all the while my excitement was building.

At over a foot deep had me down to a large tree root and the signal was still below it, now my pulse was racing. Digging past the tree root for 4 inches and the signal was screaming.

In anticipation I cleared all the dirt back and working over the tree root started digging again, My excitement was at boiling point and this time, my pick went into a soft spot under the tree root. I wriggled the pick a bit and peered down the hole to see rust fall to the bottom, My Heart sank!

"Who the bloody hell buried this rusty tin down this deep?" was what I muttered along with a few other choice superlatives. Stuck the pick in again and wriggled it some more and sure enough, more rust, dratts, dratts & double dratts, I was floored.

Oh well! I might as well dig out the offending rubbish after all this effort. Two hands down the hole to scoop the rust and dirt out over the tree root and onto my cleared spot and I froze! Even without my glasses on I could see rust and gold all through the pile of dirt and a trail of gold going back down the hole.

Excitement plus was back with a Vengeance! I jumped up and ran back to the others shouting “Come and have a look at this”, Grabbed some buckets and back to the hole. Wow !, What have we here, Scooped more dirt out to see more rust and more gold. I had found an old rusted tin full of gold.

In amongst the excitement of the find and laughing came the thoughts, Wonder who buried this tin? Why was it still here for me to find? How long has it been here?

Filled two buckets with the rust & gold laden dirt and on & off for the next few days sifted through it to retrieve all the gold.

Wow, What an extraordinary find, This gold was predominately in Biotite (a form of Mica) in very thin layers and the newly named Tin Hoard Gold Centrepiece had a bit of white schist attached, See pics.

The tin lid was the only rusted piece that came out pretty much intact, Further enquiry came up with the tin being a Caley’s sweets tin from around the 1930’s. All up the obvious & easily weighable gold (6 pieces in the centre of the Tin Hoard photo) came in at just over 2 ounces with a lot of the Biotite laced with gold not weighed. The Tin Hoard Gold Centrepiece came in at 41.1 grams.

Moral of the tale is to dig everything right to the end, as you just never know!

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