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TOPIC: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach

Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2927

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Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach

Written By: News Editor, Shawn J. Soper

FENWICK -- A local girl with a penchant for collecting sea glass made a rare discovery last week when she uncovered a centuries-old coin dating back to 1655 in the dune on the beach in Fenwick Island.

Last weekend, 9-year-old Ella Peters was combing the beach in Fenwick when she came across a rather rare find, an old coin dating back to 1655 that likely washed ashore sometime in the last 350 years or so. From a young age, Bishopville resident Ella Peters has had a fascination with beach combing and collecting sea glass, according to her mother, Gretchen Peters.
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Ella received a metal detector for Christmas this year, but wasn’t utilizing her new equipment last weekend when she uncovered the old 1655 coin buried in the sand in the dune on the beach in Fenwick.

“She was combing the beach and uncovered what looked like at first like an old bracelet,” said Gretchen Peters this week. “It had a lot of rust on it and we couldn’t make out what it was at first.”

Ella and her mother took the odd discovery to the nearby DiscoverSea Museum in Fenwick, which houses a vast collection of old coins and other artifacts from centuries of shipwrecks off the Maryland and Delaware coasts. Museum proprietor Dale Clifton, who has seen more than his share of old shipwreck artifacts, submerged Ella’s find in a solution to remove rust and centuries worth of decay to reveal an old coin clearly dated 1655 that had attached itself to a piece of wire, likely from the same shipwreck.

“Ella lit up like a light bulb when the object was cleaned and turned out to be a very, very old coin,” said Gretchen Peters this week. “It was clearly dated 1655. We’re going to take it to a gentleman who collects coins to find out what it’s worth, but I don’t think she’ll give it up no matter what he tells us.”

Ella, an avid collector at age nine, is also not about to give up the location of the find.

“She said she doesn’t want to disclose the exact location because she intends to go back and search it again,” said Gretchen Peters. “It’s like she wants to stake a claim to the area where she found it.”

Clifton said Ella’s find itself was not entirely unusual in an area with dozens of known shipwrecks dating back to the 1600s, but the way she found it was what made the discovery so special.
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“It’s really incredible that she found it just sifting through the sand close to the surface without the use of a metal detector,” he said. “What makes it really special is the idea that Ella might be the first person to have touched that coin in 350-plus years.”

Clifton said the coin was made of copper and had fused itself to the other piece of metal, more than likely a barrel banding from the barrel it was contained in when it went to the bottom of the sea. He likened it to a “piece of eight,” the currency used during the era, except that pieces of eight were typically struck in gold or silver, while Ella’s find was copper.

“They struck their lower denominations in copper, just as we do today,” he said. “It’s likely from the pirate-era of that time and the owners probably used those coins as their pocket change to purchase things when they were in port.”

Clifton said it was difficult to tell from the markings the origin of the coin. He said that type of coin was likely used by several different countries as a common form of currency during the era. He said he doesn’t always like to put a monetary value on rare finds like Ella’s, but estimated it could be worth $30 to $100 to a collector.

However, he cautioned the Berlin Intermediate School fourth-grader to put its historic value ahead of its monetary value.

“If it was me, you couldn’t give me a million dollars for it if it was my first find,” he said. “To think she could be the first person to touch it since the 1600s makes it worth keeping. I hope she keeps it and studies it and learns more about the shipwrecks of the era. The historic value is much greater than its monetary value.”

Courtesy The Dispatch
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“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 7 years 10 months ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2977

Awsome, she will be metal detecting for years to come. She has the treasure feaver now!
To Swim Is Human, To Dive Is SUBLIME
To bag a bug in total darkness . . . . is just the next step.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2983

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Very NICE MARAVEDIS COB. Have gotten over 500 of them from one site I have. She's a lucky girl and what a great find. Looks to be counter stamped also.
Grubby
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2987

500 at one site, that is way cool! can you post some pictures?
To Swim Is Human, To Dive Is SUBLIME
To bag a bug in total darkness . . . . is just the next step.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2991

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Here are a few cleaned ones. All found with Whites Surfmaster or Duel field.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #2999

  • BigDRN
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Incredible, I would be happy to find just one!
Dave
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3005

Wow Ole grubstake! that is totaly out of this world. Im truly impressed.
To Swim Is Human, To Dive Is SUBLIME
To bag a bug in total darkness . . . . is just the next step.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3006

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I love cob coins. Each is like a snow flake and no two are alike. If you have one, you have one no one else has. Here's a few of the silver pieces from the same site. Some are milled. But I love the cobs.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3010

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Your finds never cease to amaze me Grubby. Keep up the good Treasure Hunting.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3026

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Wow! Grubby, That is amazing! I am truely impressed. :woohoo:
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3051

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great finds grubby I am searching a beach in new jersey for Reales that people been finding. No luck but U.S quarters.
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Re: Rare 1655 Coin Discovered On Fenwick Beach 7 years 10 months ago #3052

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Blackbeard wrote:
great finds grubby I am searching a beach in new jersey for Reales that people been finding. No luck but U.S quarters.

What beach you working Blackbeard? I heard the beach areas around Raritan Bay were great hunting grounds.... I'd like to get over there sometime and try my luck....
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