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, 11:28
Barnstaple McDonald's.

Restaurant to install digital order points and extra drive through lane

Read more
Yesterday, 10:08
The mini run 2015 in Bideford. Pictures: Graham Hobbs

The mini run was back in North Devon this weekend celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mini Grand Tour.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:07
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Theft of £18 aquarium pump from Barnstaple shop lands 26-year-old man owing the court nearly £300.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:01
Woody Bay Station is giving half its takings to Children's Hospice South West this weekend.

Visit Woody Bay station on September 5 & 6 and help Children’s Hospice South West

Read more
Sunday, August 30, 2015
The Torrington Trumpton bonfire 2015.

Crowds were treated to a giant charity bonfire and spectacular fireworks display in Torrington last night (Saturday).

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Winkleigh Airfield aircraft watch tower

A two-storey World War Two watchtower and parts of a secret wartime airfield are being auctioned for £35,500-£50,000 on September 22, along with its nine acres of land and several outbuildings.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Bideford Hospital.

Health bosses announces plans for sessions in Hatherleigh, Lynton and Barnstaple

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015

Fire fighters rushed to flat in Marlborough Court, Bideford, where they found a woman trapped inside and smoke issuing from the building.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Artist's impression of the completed Anchorwood Bank development

Firs stage of major Barnstaple development will be completed by Christmas 2016

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Natalie Jones lost her life in the collision near Knowle. Picture: Michelle Ley

A 30-year-old from Ilfracombe has been questioned by police following the fatal collision on August 21

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder