Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Silver Test

I had a small pasture field available, which I had searched in the past and made very few finds. The field had just been mown so searching conditions were as good as they could be and I decided to use the field as a test site for natural finds. I was now using a Detech EDS metal detector, fitted with 12 inch SEF coil, which I had not used on this field before. I baited the rod (see Trust the Greeks, especially when they bear gifts) with silver and used the rod in one hand and my detector in the other, the principle being that the rod guides the detector to the finds. Bear in mind that the brass (copper-zinc alloy), which the rod is made from, forms the largest sample or bait by far, so the rod will naturally find copper alloys and should also find silver because of the added silver bait. There may also be chance finds that you just happen to walk over.

The photo shows the finds made after a four hour search (plus there were three lead objects that I couldn’t fit into the photo). The top row of seven objects all have some silver content (the two George V sixpences are 50% silver) and it is likely that the old lead objects contain traces of silver as an impurity. The rest of the coins and artefacts in the photo are copper-alloy. There was also some junk in the form of iron and aluminium although this was minimal.

Next time, I’ll perform a field test using gold bait…

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