Find of the Year 2002-2003
Find of the Year Shield for the Best Coin 2002-2003
Find of the Year Cup for the Best Artefact 2002-2003
Articles, Photographs or Scans Wanted
Most of the newer members of the club will not have read the earlier issues of the Ashfield Metal detecting Club newsletter. This is the eighth to be produced at intervals of three months apart. If members contribute regularly a newsletter every two months could be aimed for.
Contributions can be from a photograph or scan of an unidentified coin or artefact, an advertisement for something wanted or for sale, or a full article on some aspect of metal detecting or associated subject.
Please hand in or send any items for inclusion to the club secretary, John Gough or if email is more convenient articles, or scans can be sent to:- firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ashfield All Male Voice Choir
Annual General Meeting 3rd March, 2003
It was decided that the membership of the club be set at 25 members
Artefact Find of the Month March, 2003
Coin Find of the Month March, 2003
Points Mean Prizes !
From Russia With Love ?
This is an email I received giving details of a metal detecting expedition in the Volga River basin starting July, 2003.
Dear John Gough!
We, archaeologists from Ulyanovsk and Kazan, are grateful to you for the interest to our project last year. The season of years 2002-2001 brought us five hoards - this fantastic result was connected with our volunteers from UK., USA, Belgium, France and especially the results of Mark Heffeman (The Weekend Wanderers Club)- about 500 medieval coins and things! You can learn more about our work, results last seasons and finds at our New website. www.great-volga.fromru.com. In our field practice, we use metal detectors, in particular the Spectrum XLT model, which we have purchased through a grant. We would like to invite You to participate in our research in 2003- digging and prospecting in the Volga River basin. We would like to invite You as volunteers, and we believe Your participation could be of great help to our work. Who knows, may be You will be the next who will find a hoard! Archaeological finds will stay in Russia, but they will be exhibited on the Internet noting Your authorship. However, its possible to take late finds that have no scientific interest, such as coins and items of 17-20 centuries with according russian laws. During prospecting in the basin of the Volga River we have found many old mansions and villages destroyed by the river. We plan to explore those using metal detectors. If you got interested in our offer please contact us by email. Yours sincerely, Alexander Kozhevin, Ph. D.
SOME EXTRACTS FROM THE WEB SITE
Our Spectrum metal detector has has yielded a tremendous number of medieval coins that are a perfect dating material. We plan to explore the Old Mayna and Bolgar sites this year (Middle Volga, central Russia map). The season starts in April and ends in November, but the best time for detecting and digging is July. Please let us know if you can come to Russia in this month. This year program will include researches using metal detectors at the sites that are destroyed by water and people: ancient settlements, abandoned villages, mansions - and one of the main goals is searching for pick-up materials and hidden treasures connected with the Great Volga Way which is in the framework of this year's topic announced by UNESCO. The researches will also include studying late Russian mansions, villages and small towns. Late Russian items and coins which you could take with you will be registered according to Russian laws. Volunteers pay for accomodation, transport to the field, meals, lectures and excursions. We are pleased to inform you that we have been awarded a grant to carry out our field research. As soon as you are an expert in metal detecting, we would like to have some of your expenditures paid from our grant. Maximum number of people per team is 8. The duration of the programme in Ulyanovsk is 12 days (14 days including Moscow). The accomodation will be in a hunting lodge, an archaeological base or tents (during prospecting). The legal side is that the participants are volunteers who help in our scientific programme.
VOLUNTEER BY EMAIL
Please visit the website if you can. It has some interesting information and photographs although I can't quite see what Angie and Maria have to do with the project.
It would appear that Mark Hefferman of the Weekend wanderers Club went on the 2002 expedition and recovered a hoard of five hundred medieval coins. Some of them are displayed on the website.
So its up to you if you want to go detecting in the Volga basin email Alexander Kosheven on email@example.com as soon as possible. I was tempted but unfortunately 14 days in July would be in the middle of the gardening season.
I have had requests from club members to include an article about coin cleaning in a newsletter. The best advice I can give about cleaning coins is DONíT! However for those who wish to take the risk there are a number of books on the market about cleaning coins and artefacts. Here is just a few:-
CLEANING AND RESTORING COINS AND ARTEFACTS by M Cuddiforth. £4.95. How to obtain professional results cleaning coins and artefacts. The chemicals to use with tips and techniques for using them.
A GUIDE TO CONSERVATION FOR METAL DETECTORISTS £9. 90. Advice on cleaning and displaying metal detecting finds.
PARTEFACT RESTORATION by S. Pulley. £3. 95. How to restore incomplete finds into a displayable condition with household materials.
These books and others are available by post from Regton or Spin A Disc.
As a rule coins and artefacts, especially coins, are better for not being cleaned but just a washing in hot water with a washing-up liquid detergent. If necessary give them a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush. I have spoilt more coins by cleaning them than not.
Gold is a metal that should not become very tarnished in the ground and a wash as outlined above may suffice. Take care, however, that any grit clinging to the surface of the coin is washed of under running water before using even the softest of toothbrushes. Gold is a very soft metal and any particle of grit will scratch the surface unless it is removed before using the toothbrush. Do not, under any circumstances use dip, abrasives or a polish impregnated cloth.
Silver tones through tarnishing and, in the eyes of a collector or dealer, some tone is desirable. If, however, the silver coin is so tarnished or even black it may be worthwhile to try the tinfoil and soda method of cleaning it.
TINFOIL AND SODA.
This involves washing the coin as for gold and drying it by patting it with a soft cloth. Cover the bottom of a small saucepan with kitchen tinfoil add a small amount of water and a half teaspoon of washing soda. Bring it up to the boil, place the coin in the saucepan on the tinfoil and allow to cool. When cool clean the coin again with a soft toothbrush. It may be that you have to repeat the process two or three times before most of the black is removed.
If you are in the field and you find a hammered silver coin scrap that you would like to identify or date (and we all do) use a version of the tinfoil method for cleaning it. This is to take a small square of kitchen tinfoil, spit copiously on it and wrap it around your coin. Then rub the coin and tinfoil vigorously between the thumb and forefinger, after a short while it will become very warm. Take the coin out of the tinfoil spit on it and rub it. You should by then be able to make out enough detail to help you identify the scrap. Do not use this method on anything you are concerned about because scratches are almost inevitable.
Wash the coin in soapy water and gently scrub it with a soft toothbrush then dry it on a soft cloth. When dry soak the coin in either natural lemon juice or the shop bought concentrate for a few minutes. Rinse the coin under the tap and scrub it with the toothbrush. Repeat as necessary. Be careful not to let the coin stay in the lemon juice for any great length of time.
For hard to clean coins a harsher way than using lemon juice. Method as for lemon juice but look at the coins at frequent intervals.
SONIC OR ULTRASOUND CLEANER.
These are small cleaners used by jewellers to clean rings and jewellery. I have had no experience of them.
BARRELING MACHINE OR ROCK RUMBLER.
This is a severe method of cleaning and not to be advised unless for cleaning coinage of no importance, or modern currency to make it acceptable over the shop counter. Remember to separate the different types of metal coins, if you do mix them all together they all take on a coppery colour.
I have used this method in the past and would not recommend it.
Olive oil. Place coins in a small container and cover with olive oil, leave for a week and by then the olive oil should have penetrated the crud and softened it. After a week dry the coins on a soft cloth and soak for five minutes in an industrial strength degreaser like Tri-Sodium Phosphate. This, or something similar can be obtained from D I Y stores. Rinse coins under tap and brush with a soft toothbrush. Repeat the process from the start if necessary. This may take weeks but persevere.
Soak coins in WD 40 as for the olive oil method leaving out the degreaser. This method tends to darken the coin or artefact.
You may have heard of using Calgon, a water softener. I have tried it in the past with mixed success. The Calgon that is on sale today has been reformulated and the ingredients that were essential for cleaning coins have been replaced.
Finally remember only clean coins when you have to Ė IF IN DOUBT LEAVE IT OUT.
Written by John Gough, Club Secretary