Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20/12 Report - Spanish Coin, Lead Seals, and Foreign Laws

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a Spanish silver coin.  See if you can identify it.

If you want to cheat, the coin is found pictured in Monedas Espanolas  Desde Juan y Carlos a Isabel II 1504 a 1868, by Calico, Calico and Trigo, 1985.

You can see the king in the first picture - Phillip III.  That gives you something of an age range.

You can see the date in the second picture - 1609.

That is the easy part, but the denomination is also displayed clearly in the first photo - 50.

Of course we are most familiar with the 8, 4, 2, 1 and half reales that were minted in the New World. 

This is a 50 reale.  Not common at all, and not made in the New World.

That would give a whopper signal in your ear phones.

The assayer mark is "C."

So where was it minted?

The answer is Segovia.  The Segovia mint was built in 1583 to process gold and silver coming in from the New World.

You can actually see the mint mark above the assayer mark.  It is a representation of the city's aqueduct.

I posted a dug lead bale seal not long ago and was doing some research on bale seals when I found this site with a nice large collection of bale seal examples.   You might want to take a look.

If you travel outside of the country with a metal detector, you should be aware of the laws on taking anything old you find with you when you leave.   If you look at the above web site, for example, there is a tab labeled "exporting."   If you select that tab, you'll see the following statement.   No find over 50 years old can be taken home without the correct documentation i.e. export licence. Anyone attempting to smuggle an artifact out of the country will be liable to imprisonment fine or both. 

I would say that is pretty typical, and that many countries have similar laws these days.  While I think it is absurd to consider a 50 year old item to be an antiquity, that is the way it is these days.   I got a nickel in change yesterday that is older than that.  I have clothes older than that.  These laws must be written by 20 something year-olds.   Just bump it up another fifty years, and that will include absolutely everything.  .    

No matter how senseless it may seem to be, you need to be aware of the laws, especially when traveling to foreign countries.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions

The wind is still from the south, seas are calm and beach conditions remain poor.   Nothing much has changed.

There are however two low pressure areas in the Atlantic that bear watching.  They are still far out there and won't be any threat for a few days.   One has an 80% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours. 

Happy hunting,