What do you do with the scrap metal you find? Throw it in the hedge or down rabbit holes? You’ve taken the time and trouble to dig it up so why not collect it and sell it?
I recently sold the scrap metal I had collected over the past couple of years:
13kg Aluminium £6.50
27kg Mixed Brass £19.00
35kg Lead £10.50
And metal prices are increasing.
There’s two other reasons for not throwing scrap away:
You might throw something historically or intrinsically valuable away - gold torcs have been mistaken for bits of brass bedsteads and thrown in hedges.
You might end up having to dig it all up again.
A couple of detectorist friends found a scattered hoard of gold Staters and asked me to go with them and see if we could locate anymore. There was a hedge-bank a few yards from where the coins were found and I suggested we ought to search there as earth banks were one of the favourite hiding places in the past. The origin of BANKING in fact. They looked at me a bit sheepish. When I started searching the bank it was full of metallic rubbish – they had thrown all their scrap there.
Keep anything that might turn out be something worthwhile – any man-made shape but also bronze lumps. The British Museum are now analysing such lumps to see how they relate to axes etc.
Basically you can sort scrap into Aluminium, Mixed Brass and Lead
You might also want to do copper and nickel coin (an old penny is now worth over twice its face value in scrap), stainless steel, pewter and zinc although you will find much smaller quantities.
Wash it as you collect it or collect it dirty and wash the lot before you take it to the scrap yard.
I find the best way to wash the scrap is to put it in a plastic garden riddle and douse it with water. Keep removing the clean metal and washing the remaining dirty metal.
If you want to mechanise the operation put the dirty scrap in a cement mixer with a bucket of water and a couple of kilos of sharp sand and run for about 10 minutes.