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Thread: Memorable trip to France includes multiple hammered coins, large coppers and Roman

  1. #1
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Memorable trip to France includes multiple hammered coins, large coppers and Roman

    Hi all,

    Just back from overseas in south-central France on a most memorable trip. Spent 9 days there metal detecting with my close friends from Green Mountain Diggers, staying at the family private residences - a large 15th century chateau, then a medieval 12th century abbey! The finds were amazing by my standards, but most memorable were meeting the family, friends, the late night dinner parties, and oh, large amounts of great French food and wine! I also had to run away from a wild boar! The finds came mainly from the abbey and the saffron fields of yet another private villa of theirs which is being restored. That place is apparently haunted. Just crazy to sleep in after late night partying, then get up, grab a quick bite, then walk out the front door, choose a field and start detecting. Nuts. I ended up digging 12 small hammered and early milled coppers, mainly from Henry IV through Louis XIV (late 1500s through early 1700s - Tournois and Double Tournois were common), though a few of the rough smaller hammereds are likely earlier (12th to 15th century). I also dug 6 large French coppers (4 Napoleon IIIs, an early French Republic variety, and a Louis XV) from the late 1700s into the 1800s. A number of more modern French Francs were also unearthed. However, my best coin still has me amazed. It's a Marcus Aurelius Sestertius (RIC 1314 - Sear 4815) minted in 153-154 AD under Emperor Antoninus when Marcus was still his adopted son. Just a honking huge brass coin (32 mm dia., ~ 20 grams). The obverse shows Marcus, with the reverse showing the Goddess Minerva. I have the coin with me here in the states, but will be giving it back to my friend's Mom (owner of the abbey) to either keep it with the place or donate it to the local Roman museum in a nearby town. It was long felt that the abbey (built in 1148) stood on an ancient Roman fort, but was unproven. With my buddy's Roman pieces he found along with my coin this essentially proves it. Now as I'm back in the states I must endure my 14 day quarantine before returning to work. Hopefully all of you remain healthy and we all get through these trying times unscathed. God speed and happy hunting!

    John

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    Vermont relic hunting, one swing at a time.
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    Global Moderator OxShoeDrew's Avatar
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    AMAZING!!!! How the heck do you know someone who's mom owns a 1000 yr old French abby? Did he grow up there? Being in Vermont there must still be ties to France. I'm so excited for you, John!! Those are some sweet finds and a trip you'll always remember. Any picks of the pig?

  3. #3
    Congrats on a fun-filled adventure. Looks like you got a nice bunch of coins too. I especially like the medieval spindle whorl. It's way decorative than most! Did anyone find any silver or gold? Happy digging and hope the 14 days go by fast, Dave.
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    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OxShoeDrew View Post
    AMAZING!!!! How the heck do you know someone who's mom owns a 1000 yr old French abby? Did he grow up there? Being in Vermont there must still be ties to France. I'm so excited for you, John!! Those are some sweet finds and a trip you'll always remember. Any picks of the pig?
    Thanks Drew! My friends mom has lived in France at the abbey for the past 25 years, and his sister on and off there in the villa and now chateau for awhile as well. They're from Vermont originally, and his sister still spends much of her time back here in the Green Mountain State. She's dating someone quite famous in the movie/music scene, but I don't want to share too much for the sake of her privacy. They have money as you can imagine. Here's a fuzzy screen capture of the smaller of the two hogs. The movie clip will go into one of my upcoming YT vids. I was detecting right were it was running and had to scurry out of the way. Wasn't overly scared, but you never want to be in the way of a wild animal and this guy was booking along.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Metal Digger View Post
    Congrats on a fun-filled adventure. Looks like you got a nice bunch of coins too. I especially like the medieval spindle whorl. It's way decorative than most! Did anyone find any silver or gold? Happy digging and hope the 14 days go by fast, Dave.
    Thanks Dave and thanks for the ID on the spindle whorl! Wasn't sure what that item was but knew it was old. My friend did find one large silver hammered from the reign of Charles V (1300s) but that was it for old silver hammered. While I've been to England I haven't detected there, though will some day. Through various readings and vids it seems that small silver hammereds are much more common there than in France, where the small hammered coppers seem to pop up more often. Maybe that's a misconception, dunno.

    John
    Vermont relic hunting, one swing at a time.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG2...OLib30A/videos

  5. #5
    Pretty darn cool trip there John! Nice and green....buds on the trees. Just like VT this time of year . Coins, relics, boars, Gallic ghosts, and a quarantine. Yes, that qualifies as an adventure!
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  6. #6
    Global Moderator Ill Digger's Avatar
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    American Detectorists in France!!
    🇺🇸 🛫 🌏 🛬 🇨🇵
    Cool!!

    That's awesome John! A great big Roman Sestertius!! Sweet find! Congrats!
    I can't wait to see the new video!
    Some days you get the corn, some days you get the cob
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  7. #7
    Global Moderator aloldstuff's Avatar
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    John, just an awesome story. The finds are amazing as are the places where you stayed. As you said - late night party - get up and walk out the door and start to detect.
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  8. #8
    Great read and fantastic finds. What a dream to be able to hunt there.
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  9. #9
    Global Moderator Fire Fighter 43's Avatar
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    Awesome hunting trip, congrats on all the great finds.
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