Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Treasure hunter unearths mystery coin on Westward Ho! beach

08:54 26 February 2014

Merlin with some of his storm finds, including a coin with strange symbols inscribed into it.

Merlin with some of his storm finds, including a coin with strange symbols inscribed into it.

Archant

Escapologist Merlin is appealing to Gazette readers to help identify mystery symbols on silver coin.

Do you know what these markings mean? Merlin is hoping to identify the symbols engraved on this coin.Do you know what these markings mean? Merlin is hoping to identify the symbols engraved on this coin.

A NORTH Devon treasure hunter is appealing to Gazette readers to help him identify a coin with a curious inscription found on Westward Ho! beach.

Escapologist Merlin Cadogan, from Northam, has spent around five hours a day metal detecting on the beach in the wake of the recent storms.

And his dedication has paid off, having found more than 600 coins, two rings, a personalised cigarette box and a number of lead toys.

But one silver coin, a four reales coin which has a number of symbols inscribed into it, has puzzled Merlin and he’s hoping Gazette readers can help.

“In the 1800s there was a shortage of silver and sometimes coins were inscribed so they made up a different value to what was shown,” said Merlin.

“This saved them having to make more coins.

“It also could be that someone has marked the coin as their own. I am hoping someone will be able to help me identify what the markings mean.”

Alongside his more treasured finds, Merlin has also removed around 30kg of lead weights from the beach and thousands of aluminium cans, as well as unearthing five live bullets and a detonator.

He said: “The storms have washed away a lot of the sand, so the items are much closer to the surface.

“But there are also a lot of things such as the lead weights which are bad for the environment, so I am doing my bit to remove them.”

Merlin will be giving a talk to the Taw and Torridge metal detecting club on May 26 at Torrington Methodist Church from 7.30pm.

For more information on the club or to come along contact Pete on 07977 557006.

4 comments

  • They are chop marks made by traders in Asian countries to confirm the coins are the correct weight or purity (90% Silver)

    Report this comment

    Handy Andy

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Spain issued large silver 20 reales coins from 1808 to 1863. This pattern, with Napoleon's brother Joseph (IOSEPH NAP), appeared first in the series, known as De Vellon coinage. REVERSE: IOSEPH NAP. DEI GRATIA. 1810 'HEAD' FRONT: HISPANIARUM ET IND REX. M A I . 20 'SHIELD' R. SHIELD IS DIVIDED INTO 7 PARTS AND HAS CROWN ON TOP (source coinquest.com )

    Report this comment

    Gina Bass

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Your so wrong this is reference to the Island of Lundy now why you ask...that is a mystery well sort of but if you go metal detecting on there you will find out why but youve no chance its protected....!

    Report this comment

    JD AndClaire

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Found it already just search treasure hoard Lundy Island its already been claimed I think...

    Report this comment

    JD AndClaire

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:08
The Landmark Theatre

Open for Business, the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, Friday, March 4

Read more
Yesterday, 16:07
The Lantern Centre. 
 © Copyright Roger A Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Community event at the Lantern Centre on Saturday, February 27

Read more
Fri, 18:28
What could be more romantic...?

Why not celebrate Valentine’s with your sweetheart on Combe Martin beach this Sunday and raise money for Children’s Hospice South West?

Read more
Fri, 13:30
Will schools lose their lollipops?

North Devon’s schools facing the loss of their lollipop patrols from this autumn after council decision today (Friday

Read more
Fri, 13:13

North Devon residents are being asked to ‘Team up to clean up’ in new initiative.

Read more
Fri, 12:33
Catch Fuse ODG at Croyde this June

Main support slots have been announced, with some big acts on the bill.

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8687. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth animal’s strange powers of prediction

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8675. Picture: Alex Walton

‘Sidmouth animal can read minds’, says owner

Read more
Fri, 10:26
Saunton Sands. Picture: Andy Keeble

Walkers claim there have been several ‘close calls’ with military vehicles using the beach for training

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications