Numismatic and History Discussions > Ancient Coin Forum

Where did the silver go ?

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Digger:
Hi , here is a problem for you . a long time ago while detecting
I had a good signal and cut a neat hole in the grass and  removed
the turf , at the bottom of the hole I could clearly see a beautiful
bright silver coin .by the time it took me to reach down and retrieve
it , the once silver coin had turned into a black ugly grot.
So I ask you where did the silver go ?

Grant W:
Idea 1.......It is still there, under the tarnish, the tarnish which was produced on exposure to oxygen.... I would presume you reached down reallllly slow
Idea 2.......A mystery

Totally unrelated, but I have noticed that a targets' magnetic permeability will change after making an initial pass over it, producing at first a nice sweet high tone mimicking a lovely lump of silver, then returning a mix of tinny medium- high tones indicating can-slaw or pull-tabs. Like it has stored up an aura of energy over time which is released after the first signal.....like I said, unrelated.

Serendipity:
Silver tarnishes due to a chemical reaction that naturally occurs when the silver is exposed to moisture and chemicals in the air. When the atoms of silver come into contact with oxygen, a film of silver sulphide forms on the coin surface, with the underlying layers not being affected.

Sometime, during AD 150-152 in the North Eastern corner of the Roman province of Britannia, a citizen was compelled to bury his hoard of 522 silver denarii, equivalent in value to around $14,516 approximately in modern day currency. A substantial amount given that a Roman soldier would have been paid around 300 denarii per year. The silver denarii stretched from the coins of Mark Antony (32-31 BC) to Faustina II (AD 152), some 184 years of Roman history. All bar the early Legionary issues were struck in Rome. The Ropsley Hoard was found by a metal detectorist in March 2018, who was carefully searching a large field in Lincolnshire, not far from the Roman town of Ancaster and Ermine Street, the Roman road connecting London to Lindum Colonia (Lincoln) and Eboracum (York).

When these coins were removed from the ground, there were extensive green corrosion products meaning they were not legible. Once at the British Museum, the coins were conserved in order that they could be counted and identified during which fragments of charcoal were recovered and identified as being from a willow tree by the department of scientific research. How this burned wood came to be buried with these coins is a mystery, perhaps the coins were being counted by their owner close to a spitting fire before their final concealment or perhaps even a charcoal pencil was used to keep a tally of exactly how many coins were being hidden! Further work by specialist conservators to remove the encrustation, but not damage the coins themselves, took place over a number of months.

Hadrian (11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 AD), Silver Denarius, Ropsley Hoard 21, RIC II 234d, RSC II 615, BMCRE III 608, Strack II 231, Hunter II -, SRCV I -, EF, excellent portrait, well-centred and sharply struck on a tight flan, lightly toned, little wear, some hoard encrustations both sides, edge cracks, weight 3.27g, maximum diameter 18.0mm, die axis 200°, Rome mint, 134-8 AD; obverse HADRIANVS-AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FELICI-T-AS AVG (Happiness of the Emperor), Felicitas, draped, standing half-left, caduceus in right hand, olive branch in left.

Digger:
What a beautiful coin , I got my tooth pick in hand ,let me at the crude remaining.

Thanks for the reply Serendipity.

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