Monday, September 28, 2015

Around the World on a Single Beach

  I hit this tiny little beach in a small rocky cove after work. The tide was coming in fast and I knew I didn't have much time left, but I gave it a shot nonetheless. The first beep and resulting dig revealed a remarkably well preserved 1899 British farthing, also known as the Old Head, dyed during minting to distinguish itself from similar sized coins and featuring the regal profile of Queen Victoria. I have found many coins on beaches and a few fairly old coins, and rarely does a copper over thirty years old come out of the sand with anything other than a severely corroded and often smooth face. I scratched my head and kept swinging.
  The next three digs turned up a 1965 1 Franc, a 1971 Mexican centavo, and a 1917 Canadian large cent. I was doubled over with laughter at that point. I looked around. A few fancy coastal summer homes, a lonely lighthouse on a small island, an expanse of rocky shoreline. Surely it wasn't centuries old highway for international travelers. No. It was obvious to me that what I was finding was one of a few things: some poor sucker's coin collection was either tossed over board or out to sea by his or her angry spouse or foolish child, a robbery had resulted in the thief abandoning the evidence by defenestrating the coin collection as he raced around the corner in the getaway car, or someone I know was playing tricks on me my flinging rare and random coins out onto the nearest beach to my job site. 
  Anyway, I kept at it and added to the list two two-pence pieces from 2000, an unidentifiable Chinese copper, and the last coin I dug, which appears to be, if mine eyes do not deceive me... a 1760 Mexican Reale. And this is all at high tide. I can't wait to see what low tide holds for me this coming week.